Government influence on Dublin Airport’s passenger charges set to end

Minister says new policy will put passengers’ interests first

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Minister for Transport Shane Ross said  Dublin had grown into a highly-connected airport under the regulator’s oversight

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Minister for Transport Shane Ross said Dublin had grown into a highly-connected airport under the regulator’s oversight

 

Proposed new rules for setting passenger charges at Dublin Airport will end Government involvement in determining how much the levies should be.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation sets the maximum that Dublin can charge airlines for each passenger they carry, but the Minister for Transport can intervene in the process.

New proposals published by Minister for Transport Shane Ross on Wednesday recommend removing that power, a move likely to please airlines which say the current system favours the airport’s interests over theirs.

Mr Ross said the Government had agreed to the new approach, whose primary purpose would be to protect consumers, according to the report that the Minister published.

That document states that the regulator should “no longer be mandated to have specific regard” for Dublin Airport’s financial sustainability/viability when determining the charges.

It adds that the legal basis for ministerial directions in the process should be removed and replaced with a requirement that the regulator have regard for government aviation and airport policy.

Mr Ross said he was delighted the Government had agreed to place the airport’s passengers’ interests first, and said the change would strengthen the regulator’s hand.

A spokesman for Dublin Airport’s manager, State-owned DAA, pointed out that it offered consumers more choice of routes and airlines than ever before.

“Airport charges continue to be amongst the lowest in Europe, ” he said. He added that a recent survey found Dublin was the fourth cheapest of a peer group of 23 airports.

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