Questions No. 631 and 632 answered with Question No. 626.

Ministerial Meetings

Question No. 634 answered with Question No. 626.

Ceisteanna (633)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

633. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he was the beneficiary of entertainment by way of meals, drinks or other items paid for by Dublin Port since taking office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29485/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

On 25 June 2018, I launched the Capital Investment Plan for transport, tourism and sport (Linking People and Places) as part of Project Ireland 2040 in Dublin Port. Dublin Port provided refreshments on the day for all participants. Apart from that occasion, I am not the beneficiary of any other entertainment from Dublin Port since I took up Office.

Question No. 634 answered with Question No. 626.

Protected Disclosures Data

Ceisteanna (635)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

635. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has received protected disclosures from current or former staff at Dublin Port; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29487/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department’s Head of Internal Audit is notified of allegations/disclosures received which invoke the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and monitors them to ensure they are processed on a timely basis.

Section 22 of the Act requires a public body to prepare a report setting out the number of protected disclosures made to it in the course of the immediately preceding year and certain other information relating to any such protected disclosures.  

The information for 2015 and 2016 is available on the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Website at the following link.

 http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/protected-disclosures

 Details for 2017 are set out in the 2017 Annual Report in the link below.

http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/corporate/english/annual-report-2017-english/annual-reportbrandedcoverfinalen.pdf

Details for 2018 will be included in our Annual Report 2018, to be published shortly.  

Ports Facilities

Ceisteanna (636)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

636. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Dublin Port Company has engaged a firm (details supplied) to issue threats of legal proceedings against a media outlet that wished to cover details of credit card spending of public money by executives at Dublin Port; his views on whether such action is warranted; his further views on the way in which it serves the public interest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29488/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Dublin Port Company is an independent commercial state company and receives no Exchequer funding . Any legal actions or proceedings taken by Dublin Port are solely a matter for the company and it would be inappropriate for me to make any comment in this regard.

Question No. 637 answered with Question No. 85.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (638)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

638. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the costs paid to a company (details supplied) for projects each was engaged by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the reason it was engaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29560/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department routinely publishes financial information in relation to expenditure and payments.

Details of expenditure on external services made for the years 2015 to 2018 are available on my Department’s website at the following link:

http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/expenditure-external-services

Details of expenditure to date in 2019 will be available shortly.

Cycling Facilities Provision

Ceisteanna (639)

John Lahart

Ceist:

639. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures he has taken to provide secure parking for cyclists in Dublin city centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29587/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including cycling infrastructure.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Road Network

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (640)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

640. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the person or body responsible for the installation of lighting along the off and on-ramps along the M17 and M18 motorway between Tuam and Gort; when the lighting will be installed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29616/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the maintenance, upgrading and improvement of individual national roads, including lighting, is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. 

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

State Airports

Ceisteanna (641)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

641. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 592 of 2 July 2019, if the decision that Shannon Airport should not receive State funding for capital projects will be reviewed in view of the fact that it does qualify for State support under European Union rules (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29617/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

In my response of 2 July, I outlined that Shannon Airport is a State-owned enterprise with a commercial mandate. It is a matter for Shannon Airport to ensure that it operates within its statutory mandate so that it can meet its capital investments and operational expenditure from its own resources. 

I have no plans to change government policy in relation to Shannon Airport.

Driver Test Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (642)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

642. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if matters (details supplied) relating to driver licences will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29623/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Contrary to the Deputy's assertion, waiting times for driving tests have in fact reduced significantly across all test centres in recent months. As of the 22 June, not a single test centre in the country has an average waiting time of greater than 10 weeks, with the national average waiting time currently standing at 6.9 weeks.  This marked improvement has come about as a result of the recruitment by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) of a large amount of additional driver testers since the beginning of this year.

The Deputy's follow-on suggestion that a long-term learner permit holder with an accident-free record be automatically entitled to a full licence runs entirely contrary to the principles underpinning our testing and licencing system. A learner who has held multiple consecutive permits will, in most cases, have had sufficient time to develop their driving skills and reach the point where they are ready to take the test. The purpose of the test is to allow learners to demonstrate their ability to drive safely and responsibly under varied and challenging conditions.  To award a licence to an individual who has not met this basic passing standard would be a dangerous and retrograde step and not one my Department is prepared to entertain.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (643, 673)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

643. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the upgrading of the northern commuter line; the details of the purchase of additional trains and carriages; the long-term plans for the DART expansion on the route; the details of the funding sign off; the timeline for delivery in view of the already over congested trains at peak times and continuing population growth; the plans being put in place in the interim to address the overcrowding at peak times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29672/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

673. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to take to augment the commuter rail services involving the towns of Salllins, Kilcock, Maynooth, Celbridge and Lexlip, County Kildare, with particular reference to ensuring a service adequate to meet the growing needs of commuters including provision of extra trains and or extra carriages on the existing network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30054/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 643 and 673 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport.  The operation of the heavy rail network, including the Kildare, Maynooth and Northern Lines and the assessing of rolling stock requirements for the network are a matter for Iarnród Éireann in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA) which also has statutory responsibility for the development and implementation of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area including implementation of the DART Expansion Programme.

Noting the responsibility of the agencies, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply on the specific issues raised.  Please advise my office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days. 

Aviation Industry

Ceisteanna (644)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

644. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to recent studies which highlight the bogus self-employment of pilots operating for airlines registered here; if his attention has been further drawn to the Ricardo study completed for the European Commission on working conditions for aircrew which found that the rate of contracted pilots is approximately three times that of the European average and that 93% of self-employment in European aviation is fake; his plans to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29676/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department is aware of the Ricardo study on employment and working conditions of aircrews in the EU internal aviation market (“the Ricardo Study”) and the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions concerning the Aviation Strategy for Europe: Maintaining and promoting high social standards (“the Commission’s Report”).  

The Ricardo Study questioned the self-employment of pilots that indicated that they did not have the flexibility to determine when they wanted to fly and for how many hours. Such flexibility would be unusual, however, as airlines generally operate scheduled services.  

The Commission’s Report re-iterated many of the findings of the Ricardo Study and also called for the establishment of an ad hoc group of Member State experts dealing with aviation and labour law matters to identify best practices, ensuring a level playing field and quality working conditions. The first meeting of this expert group took place in Brussels in early April 2019 with aviation officials from my Department attending. The next meeting is scheduled for the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.  

Issues that have been raised in relation to atypical employment and the standard of employment conditions in aviation are equally valid for other employment sectors far larger than aviation, such as construction, IT, hospitality, healthcare, etc. In order to maintain the coherence of the wider EU social dimension, such matters should be addressed through wider employment legislation at EU and Member State level, rather than at sector (aviation) level.  

One of the numerous regulated areas of aviation safety is that relating to flying hours for aircrew. Compliance with these rules is overseen by the Irish Aviation Authority, in respect of airlines licensed in Ireland.

Road Projects Status

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Question No. 646 answered with Question No. 101.

Ceisteanna (645)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

645. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason there is no construction works taking place on the Dunkettle interchange, Cork; and the revised timeframe for the completion of same. [29684/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A
Question No. 646 answered with Question No. 101.

Public Transport Initiatives

Ceisteanna (647)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

647. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the cost of public transport will be reduced and increase its reach within rural Ireland in order to reduce congestion and pollution. [29694/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I refer the Deputy to my response to his question number 70 which I answered earlier.

Dublin Bus Services

Ceisteanna (648)

John Lahart

Ceist:

648. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the exceptional public service provided by Dublin Bus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29710/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I am pleased to recognise the growth in customer numbers of Dublin Bus during 2018, which increased by almost 3%, despite the impact of two severe weather events in the first half of the year, the impact of the Luas Cross City line and the transition of some PSO routes to a new operator towards the end of the year.  The company has seen several years of passenger growth now, which links closely with the country's strong economy and high levels of employment, and the resulting strengthened demand for travel and public transport.

I understand that the Company has also recorded increased rates of customer satisfaction and continued delivery of cost efficiencies, which are to be particularly welcomed. All this performance reflects very well on the efforts of the Company - staff, management and Board - to deliver bus services for Dublin.

Dublin Bus Services

Ceisteanna (649)

John Lahart

Ceist:

649. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the passenger numbers carried by Dublin Bus in 2017, 2018 and to quarter two of 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29711/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have overall responsibility for policy and funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the collection and publication of statistics relating to public transport and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Dublin Bus

Ceisteanna (650)

John Lahart

Ceist:

650. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding provided to Dublin Bus in each of the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29712/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

Since 2010, the award of Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding falls under the independent statutory remit of the National Transport Authority (NTA).  The allocations to the companies are decided by the NTA in exercise of its statutory mandate and in accordance with the various contract arrangements that it has in place with PSO service providers.  Therefore, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Public Transport Initiatives

Ceisteanna (651, 655, 677)

John Lahart

Ceist:

651. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of additional kilometres of bus corridor in Dublin provided since 2016 to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29713/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Lahart

Ceist:

655. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures he has taken to counteract traffic congestion in Dublin; the measures completed, in place and operational since 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29719/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

677. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeline for the provision of extra transport facilities to alleviate traffic congestion at various locations nationally that have suffered in this regard particularly as the economic recovery deepens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30058/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 651, 655 and 677 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  At a policy level our aim is encourage more and more people to choose sustainable mobility as their preferred means of transport and to support that aim I have secured significant increases to the funding levels available to support delivery by the relevant agencies, principally the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Since 2016, there have been a number of notable improvements across all modes –

- Continued expansion of the PSO bus fleet supporting expanded services in all major cities;

- The opening of the Phoenix Park tunnel in 2016 and expansion of rail services using it since that date;

- The opening of the Luas Cross City creating new interchange possibilities between both Luas lines and the heavy rail network;

- The Luas Green Line Capacity Enhancement project which will see all 26 trams extended to 55m and 8 additional trams purchased to increase capacity on the Line. The first of those extensions will enter service this year;

- The provision of significant additional funding to Iarnród Éireann which means the rail network is now funded at the “steady state” level as measured on an annual basis; and

- Completion of a number of important active travel projects in Dublin and in other cities.

In addition to the above, planning has continued in relation to the three transformative projects – BusConnects, DART Expansion and MetroLink.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area and our regional cities.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Cycling Facilities Data

Ceisteanna (652)

John Lahart

Ceist:

652. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of additional kilometres of cycle paths in Dublin completed since his appointment. [29714/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the development and implementation of public transport and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including cycling infrastructure.

Noting the NTA's responsibilities, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Cycling Facilities Data

Ceisteanna (653)

John Lahart

Ceist:

653. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of cycle parking facilities within existing car parks provided since 2016 to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29716/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure, including cycling infrastructure.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Dublin Bus Fleet

Question No. 655 answered with Question No. 651.

Questions Nos. 656 and 657 answered with Question No. 103.

Ceisteanna (654)

John Lahart

Ceist:

654. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when Dublin Bus will completely migrate to either hybrid diesel or electric buses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29717/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Procurement of vehicles for Dublin Bus and other PSO bus fleets is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA). As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have made clear my intent, and that of the Government, to transition from diesel fuelled buses towards greener fuels and technologies, for the great potential such technologies offer to reduce carbon and other harmful air pollutant emissions, and importantly, placing the public transport system in a strong leadership role.

In the urban bus fleet, a clear trajectory towards low-emission has firmly been established. In the short term, we are committed under Project Ireland 2040 to no longer purchase diesel-only buses for the urban public bus fleet from this month onwards. Consequently, the NTA recently initiated a tender competition to award a “Framework Agreement for the Supply of Double-Deck Diesel-Electric Hybrid Buses”. To help inform a longer-term bus procurement strategy, my Department, together with the NTA, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, has undertaken a comprehensive series of low-emission bus trials which are expected to conclude in the coming weeks. Findings from this trial, alongside EU public fleet procurement requirements under the Clean Vehicles Directive together with on-going market analysis and research will collectively inform the NTA's approach to its bus purchase programme in the years ahead.

Under Project Ireland 2040, the BusConnects programme will be rolled out across all our major cities, starting in Dublin. This programme is expected to have a transformative effect on the operation of bus services and will improve bus journey times by 40% to 50%; provide a bus service that is easier to use and understand; enable more people to travel by bus than ever before; and provide a network of cycling infrastructure that will enable more people to cycle. Low emitting buses will be employed under the BusConnects programme with the intention that 50% of the public urban bus fleet in the Greater Dublin Area will transition to a low emitting option by 2023 and 100% by 2030. Buses will be replaced when they reach the end of their optimal life. For the double deck bus fleet this is approximately 12 years.  It is important to note that additional vehicles may also be required to increase capacity on the network to cater for increasing travel demand or any new services.

Noting its responsibility with regards to this matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for consideration and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Question No. 655 answered with Question No. 651.
Questions Nos. 656 and 657 answered with Question No. 103.

Cycling Facilities Provision

Ceisteanna (658)

John Curran

Ceist:

658. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of various cycle network plans being implemented in major cities; the funding being allocated to the implementation of such networks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29806/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware I have secured significant improved funding allocations over the period 2018-2021 which will benefit both walkers and cyclists.

These improved allocations over this period include:

- €110 million specifically  dedicated to walking and cycling infrastructure in our major urban areas;

- €135 million for sustainable urban transport measures;

- €750 million towards the BusConnects programme in Dublin which will include the delivery of around 200 kilometres of segregated cycling lanes, where possible; and

- €53 million to support the development of new Greenways.

In addition to the above, Government has also made additional money available for cycling projects through both the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds under Project Ireland 2040.

The impact of this improved funding is evidenced by the approximate 30% increase that is being provided in 2019 under my Department's  ‘cycling and walking’ and ‘sustainable urban transport’ programmes as compared to 2018's expenditure.

In relation to the implementation of cycle network plans across our major cities, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure, including cycling infrastructure. I have therefore referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

 

Public Transport Review

Ceisteanna (659)

John Curran

Ceist:

659. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to carry out a review of public transport and active travel policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29807/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, in the coming weeks and in line with a Programme for a Partnership Government commitment, I will seek the public's views on public transport and active travel policy.  This review will allow all stakeholders to reflect on what has been achieved, what remains to be done and how our policy frameworks can support the realisation of a more sustainable transport system.

Last year, as part of this review I hosted a Round-Table Dialogue on Public Transport Policy in the Mansion House at which representatives from a broad spectrum of interest groups in the wider public and sustainable transport sector attended.

Discussions at last year's event looked at the potential challenges and competing priorities likely to arise in the future across all aspects of public transport and active travel provision including economic, social and environmental considerations.  These discussions have helped inform the policy review work which my Department has been undertaking.

That work has represented a significant commitment of resources in order to undertake the comprehensive analysis this important policy area demands.

This work is now nearing completion and I will launch a public consultation shortly by publishing a comprehensive suite of documents looking at the most important areas of public transport and active travel policy and seeking the views of all stakeholders.  I will also publish a report of last year's Dialogue with stakeholders, an Ex Post Evaluation of the Smarter Travel Areas programme 2012-2016 and a high-level assessment of the actions under the existing policies, Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future and the National Cycle Policy Framework.

I look forward to the next phase of this work and engaging with the public and all stakeholders as we look to shape the future direction of public transport policy.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (660)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

660. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on tribunals, commissions of investigation and statutory inquiries in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by inquiry, tribunal or commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29841/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Details of expenditure on external services, including amounts spent on tribunals, commissions of investigation and statutory inquiries are routinely published by my Department.

These details are available on my Department's website at the following link:

http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/expenditure-external-services

Details of expenditure to date in 2019 will be available shortly.  

Noise Pollution

Ceisteanna (661)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

661. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views in relation to requirements (details supplied) regarding aircraft noise; and his further views on whether a challenge before the European Court of Justice might be made and that such a challenge might be successful. [29748/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Act 2019 was signed into law in May this year.  The main purpose of that Act is to manage noise at Dublin Airport and to give applicability to EU Regulation 598/2014. Regulation 598 sets out the rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise related operating restrictions at European Union Airports. 

The Act provides, for the first time, that noise generated by aircraft activity at Dublin Airport will be subject to extensive detailed assessment, on-going monitoring and to regular review.  It also respects existing planning and development and environmental laws and is underpinned by binding EU Regulations and Directives on environmental and aircraft noise. It further ensures that every time a planning application at Dublin Airport is considered the aircraft noise implications are considered also.

Fingal County Council has been designated as the independent noise regulator for Dublin Airport with An Bord Pleanála designated as the independent appeals body.

Fingal County Council is establishing a new, dedicated aircraft Noise Regulation Office within the executive branch, which will include the appropriate noise expertise.  The Office will be headed at a senior level by a Director of Services, with all of the appropriate arrangements to ensure decisions are taken fully in accordance with the law. 

All of the provisions of the Act have been subject to legal scrutiny by the Office of the Attorney General and have been examined in great detail by the Oireachtas.  I am fully satisfied that Fingal County Council meets the requirements set out in Regulation 598/2014 for a noise regulator.