Saturday 3 December 2016

Abolish airport regulator - DAA chief

Published 01/05/2015 | 02:30

DAA chief executive Kevin Toland, chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin and chief financial officer Ray Gray at the announcement of the Dublin Airport Authority’s annual results in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin yesterday
DAA chief executive Kevin Toland, chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin and chief financial officer Ray Gray at the announcement of the Dublin Airport Authority’s annual results in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin yesterday

The chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Kevin Toland, has effectively called for the regulator responsible for setting passenger charges at Dublin Airport to be disbanded.

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"Regulation isn't working," the boss of the semi-state company insisted. "You can rule anything from a little room without windows, and when you're out there actually trying to deliver a great experience to your customers, a great experience to your passengers and be efficient, it's a different ball game."

He was speaking as the DAA reported an after-tax profit for 2014 of €19m, 50pc lower than in 2013, after it was hit by an exceptional €21m charge related to resolving a pension issue.

Operating profit was 41pc higher at €40m as revenue rose 13pc to €564m, however.

Mr Toland claimed the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) has had a "revolving door" of commissioners in the past couple of years. Under conditions of legislation, commissioner Cathal Guiomard left last year after serving two terms. The CAR's deputy commissioner, John Spicer, led the CAR until February. He has taken up a new role in the UK.

"I wouldn't be recruiting for a third one," said Mr Toland, a former Glanbia senior executive.

He said the CAR's pricing determinations had "inhibited" the DAA's ability to run the company.

Airlines and the DAA have all had issues with how the CAR determines airport charges and the process of how that is done is now under review.

Mr Toland said that this year, the DAA could be on track to report its busiest year ever in terms of passenger numbers. In 2008, it handled 22.6 million international passengers, with that figure having hit 22.6 million in 2014.

Shannon Group - which includes Shannon Airport - said it made a €600,000 profit after tax on €21.1m of turnover in the four months to the end of last December.

Irish Independent

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