Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (38)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

38. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to include air services to Inishbofin as part of the tender process for services to the Aran Islands in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department is currently working towards the publication of tender documents for a Public Service Obligation air service for the Aran Islands which would commence in the autumn of 2019.  Aviation consultants have been engaged to assist with this process.  My Department has no plans to include an air service for Inishbofin as part of that process. 

In relation to Public Service Obligation air services, it must be borne in mind that Member States of the EU may only impose such services with the prior consent of the EU.  No such consent has been sought in relation to Inishbofin. 

The Deputy should be aware that arrangements are being made by my Department to transfer a small section of the Inishbofin site to the HSE for the construction of a new health centre for the island community, while the facility at Cleggan is being provided to the Coast Guard for use as a landing base serving the west coast.  Neither of these new facilities will, I should add, in any way prejudice the future use of either site for the provision of air services between Inishbofin and the mainland.