Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (122, 123, 124, 125)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

122. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport the background and the processes involved regarding the recent appointment of a person (details supplied) as interim chairman of the Irish Aviation Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6519/21]

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Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

123. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport the person or body involved in lobbying or making recommendations for a post to be filled by a person (details supplied); the dates and the involvement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6520/21]

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Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

124. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport the reason the Public Appointments Service was bypassed in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6521/21]

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Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

125. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport the details of any communications between a person (details supplied) and any departmental official or Government party member of the Houses of the Oireachtas in relation to the Irish Aviation Authority prior to the official notification of the appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6522/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 to 125, inclusive, together.

Ms Rose Hynes has been appointed to act as Chairperson of the IAA on an interim basis. Ms Hynes was appointed, with the agreement of the Government, to help guide the IAA through a key period in a regulatory reform process that will result in significant institutional changes. There are some important strategic and business decision to be taken in the early part of this year in order to prepare the ground for this, and I was unwilling to risk leaving a vacancy at the top of the Company which would in any way jeopardise progress. The Deputy will note that the Air Navigation and Transport Bill passed Second Stage in the Dáil last week, and he will recognise from that Bill that there is serious preparatory work to be done.

This regulatory reform initiative, which was sanctioned by Government in September 2017, will ensure that Irish aviation will be served by an internationally best practice regulatory regime as it recovers post-Covid and post-Brexit. Ms Hynes’ experience in aviation alongside her background in leading other State agency restructuring programmes was a key reason for her appointment as interim Chair while the Company undergoes these important institutional reforms.

I fully intend to initiate a formal recruitment process under the State Boards Appointment guidelines later in the year to coincide with the passing of the Air Navigation and Transport Bill. At this point, formal processes will be put in place to recruit a permanent Chair and Board members for the newly established IAA and also a Chair and Board members for the new commercial air navigation company, which will be established as a result of the institutional reforms.