Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Transport, intends raising airlines’ concerns about delays in completing security background checks on job applicants with the Department of Justice.
Airlines say that Garda delays in completing extra background security checks on job applicants, required since January 1st, could hit efforts to hire new staff ahead of the busy summer season.
Mr Ryan indicated on Monday that he believed the problem could be solved and said his officials would be working with the Department of Justice to find a solution.
He noted the Government did not want the issue to slow air travel’s recovery. “We need our tourism back,” he added.
Most air travel workers need security passes issued on foot of background checks completed by a special Garda unit.
Government implemented new EU rules last month demanding “enhanced” intelligence background checks for such workers.
Airlines want An Garda Síochána to deploy enough manpower to ensure the checks are completed at a pace that will allow them hire workers they need for summer.
The rules also apply to about 40,000 existing aviation workers, as they renew their passes every year.
However, airlines do not believe this will pose a problem, as existing staff can apply early to renew their passes, anticipating any possible delays.
Industry sources calculated that Irish air travel businesses could hire 2,000-3,000 workers this year to aid their recovery from two years of pandemic restrictions.