Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (226, 227, 236)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

226. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Transport the actions taken to implement the aviation recovery task force report; the actions from this document he plans to implement; and the timeframe in which they will be implemented. [26578/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

227. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Transport his plans to progress recommendation 6of the aviation recovery task force report in which the State should directly provide the airports with a common fixed sum per passenger which will be used by the airports with the aim of protecting the viability of the airports and protect air connectivity nationally. [26579/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

236. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the aviation task force recommendations; and if the recommendations will be implemented in their entirety. [26814/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 226, 227 and 236 together.

The Aviation Recovery Taskforce submitted its Report in early July in which it made a series of recommendations around how Government could help stimulate a return to growth in the industry. These recommendations included a loosening of international travel restrictions, the finalisation of safe air travel protocols for airports and airlines and the provision of Exchequer funding for airlines and airports.

Where it has been able to, the Government has responded positively to the Report's recommendations. The wage subsidy scheme - which benefits aviation companies - has been extended out to April next year, a safe air travel protocol document has been published and liquidity supports are available through the ISIF Pandemic Stability Fund. Moreover, the Government is working hard at European level to secure a common EU-wide approach to air travel that offers the prospect of easing some travel restrictions in a safe way.

Whilst we clearly have not yet arrived at a point where it makes sense for the Government to try to stimulate growth in air travel, as envisaged by the Taskforce Report, consideration is being given to what more needs to be done to protect key connectivity - including outside of Dublin - without undermining the central public health objective of reducing the spread of Covid-19. It should be noted that additional emergency funding has already been allocated to Shannon Airport, and the Regional Airports Programme is continuing to provide important financial supports for our regional airports.