Thursday 20 June 2019

FORUM angry at Ross statement

Ken Phelan

FORUM, a North County Dublin action group campaigning for aircraft noise regulation in areas surrounding Dublin Airport, has criticised comments made by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross following the enactment of a controversial noise regulation Act.

Minister Ross welcomed the enactment of The Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Act 2019 recently, which was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins.

Following publication of the Act, the Minister said a 'vital piece of law' had been passed, and that the concerns of residents and local businesses had been 'heeded', comments which have drawn sharp criticism from FORUM.

FORUM's David Kelly has claimed the Act has disregarded World Health Organistion (WHO) recommendations on aircraft noise regulation, and has said the proceedings surrounding its enactment were 'a shambles'.

Mr Kelly, speaking to The Fingal Independent recently, said: 'We're a bit annoyed that we thought (the Minister) would get in the WHO regulation reference that Clare Daly got through, but he got that taken out in the Seanad.

'A few small concessions got through, but none of the major ones.

'We thought we had a bit of a victory because with the WHO regulations, 45 decibels and 40 at night would have gone through, which would mean automatically that the average flights would have to go down.

'It was all a bit of a shambles really, it had gone on for so long, it was held up then a mad rush at the end, just bulldozed through.'

He said: 'The daa now will be straight in to put in a submission to appeal the 2007 conditions, that's what they said and that's what we're expecting.

#What will happen, as far as I'm aware, the competent authority (Fingal County Council) will come up with a period of time to review it and make a decision, and if it is an unfavourable decision, it'll go to An Bord Pleanála.'

Local representatives, including Clare Daly TD and several local councillors, have objected to the appointment of Fingal County Council as Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport, questioning how indepencent the local authority can be, a charge the council has repeatedly rejected.

FORUM are locked in a dispute with the daa over planning conditions atached to the new North Runway which would restrict night-time flights across the airport.

Residents surrounding the airport want those conditions to remain in place while the daa has signalled its intention to attempt to have them overturned and claim the conditions pose a danger to its business and the viability of the new runway.

But Mr. Kelly said: 'We're looking for the right to sleep.' He concluded: 'There has to be some sort of regulation and compliance like other European airports.'

Fingal Independent