Drop opposition to US pre-clearance, urges airport group chair

Threat to pre-clearance undermines strategic advantage, says former Shannon chief

Passengers from other European countries are increasingly seeing the advantage of travelling to the US via Dublin and Shannon, said Regional and Business Airports Group chair Neil Pakey. Photograph: iStockphoto

Passengers from other European countries are increasingly seeing the advantage of travelling to the US via Dublin and Shannon, said Regional and Business Airports Group chair Neil Pakey. Photograph: iStockphoto

 

Suggestions of reviewing or removing United States customs pre-clearance from Irish airports should be dropped, according to former Shannon Group chief executive Neil Pakey.

Politicians including Minister for Children Katherine Zappone have questioned whether US customs and immigration should continue to pre-clear travellers at Dublin and Shannon airports in light of President Donald Trump’s order banning entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.

Mr Pakey, who now chairs a trade association, the Regional and Business Airports Group, warned that the suggestion should be “taken off the table” immediately as it would threaten one of the Republic’s strategic advantages.

Clearing customs and immigration at Dublin or Shannon allows those travelling to the US to be treated as domestic passengers at their destination airports, cutting out potentially long waits after they arrive.

Mr Pakey pointed out that passengers from other European countries are increasingly seeing the advantage of travelling to the US via connections at Dublin and Shannon.

He argued that this creates more demand for direct transatlantic flights from both airports, which leads to more services, which aids both tourism and business.

“The US pre-clearance facility, pioneered in Shannon, has become the envy of airports and regions in the UK and across Europe, ” he said.

“My fear is if it were removed or suspended, the US may not ever restore it, and with that goes Ireland’s strategic advantage.”

Mr Pakey added that the Republic could tackle fears about the impact of the entry ban through diplomatic channels.

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.