Aviation authority leadership left hanging in the air

Cantillon: Shane Ross has yet to approve IAA’s choice of Peter Kearney as new CEO

Eamonn Brennan, former chief of the Irish Aviation Authority. The IAA oversees traveller safety, regulates Ryanair and handles air traffic control. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Eamonn Brennan, former chief of the Irish Aviation Authority. The IAA oversees traveller safety, regulates Ryanair and handles air traffic control. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Government is fond of trumpeting the success of its aviation policy, which it likes to claim is based on the idea that, rather than seeing the industry as a product of economic growth, it can be used to drive that growth.

This policy is relatively new. In fact, the previous Government dreamt it up more or less at the same time as a number of factors, such as falling fuel prices and cheap credit to fund aircraft purchases, were conspiring to drive growth in world aviation.

However, that has not stopped either the current or the previous administration from pointing to such things as record passenger numbers at Dublin Airport as being largely down to their policies.

As both fuel and interest charges are on the way up, there are a few headwinds on the way for airlines. That in turn will show just how influential policy is and whether the Government’s approach amounted to much more than tweaking things at just the right time.

Letting things drift

But given all the trumpeting, it is strange that the Government is letting things drift in one aspect of this industry where it has control: the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), the State’s air travel safety regulator and air traffic controller.

Last year, the authority’s board chose Peter Kearney as its chief executive, to replace the departed Eamonn Brennan, but the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, has yet to approve the appointment. Instead his department says that consultation with the IAA is ongoing.

The IAA oversees air travellers’ safety. It regulates Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair, which is headquartered here. Similarly, it guides thousands of flights through the Republic’s airspace every day. Allowing a question mark to hang over its leadership is far from ideal.

The drift may be linked to Government plans to break up the IAA. Whatever the reason, the department is, as usual, giving no explanation for its action or, in this case, the lack of it.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.