Up in the air
Published 06/12/2011 | 05:00
•We were bemused to read Bill Cullen's comments in your paper (December 1) about the Dublin Airport Authority airport monopoly, where he has been a non-executive director for the last seven years.
Mr Cullen claimed in his interview that "there has never been a penny of taxpayers' money put into it (the DAA)"; that "the Government has got about €900m in dividends from the airport since its inception"; that it "gives profit to the Government" (whatever that means?); and that "it keeps expanding and upgrading all the time". Sadly, he is wrong on all counts. The €900m dividend figure is baloney. In fact, the DAA has only paid two dividends totalling just €32m to the Government over the last 12 years (€13m in 2003 and €19m in 2009).
The DAA clearly doesn't "give profit to the Government" since it hardly makes any. It receives enormous taxpayer support every time each taxpayer flies through Dublin Airport following Noel Dempsey's compulsory direction to the aviation regulator to grant the DAA a 40pc increase in airport charges.