Air travel regulation chief departs for new horizons in Europe

Former Air Malta CEO Diarmuid Ó Conghaile joined Irish Aviation Authority in January 2021 and oversaw creation of single State watchdog

Diarmuid Ó Conghaile is leaving Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) where he was chief executive designate of its regulation arm under a planned restructuring, the State’s air travel regulator confirmed on Wednesday.

Mr Ó Conghaile joined the IAA in January 2021 following a stint as chief executive of Ryanair subsidiary Air Malta.

Rose Hynes, the authority’s chairwoman, said on Wednesday that he will leave the agency on October 31st for a “new opportunity” in European air travel.

He was overseeing the merger of the IAA’s safety regulation operation with the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR), which safeguards consumers’ interests, into a single State watchdog. The IAA’s air navigation unit will be spun off and operate independently of the new single regulator.


Last November, Ms Hynes told the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications that the reorganisation could happen by the end of March this year.

Mr Ó Conghaile noted that it was a privilege to run the IAA when it was supporting aviation through Covid-19 disruption.

“Throughout my time working with the IAA and the CAR, I have been struck by the depth of expertise and experience and the great commitment from everyone serving the aviation sector and its consumers,” he said.

The IAA’s board intends to begin a search for Mr Ó Conghaile’s successor as soon as possible.

Ms Hynes thanked the departing chief executive for his contribution and wished him well for the future.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas