Tuesday 16 July 2019

Opposition builds against airport noise regulator

Oireachtas Committee discuss controversial choice of FCC

Minister Shane Ross challenged by FORUM on airport decision
Minister Shane Ross challenged by FORUM on airport decision

An organisation representing residents in several areas across Fingal that may be impacted by the construction of a new runway at Dublin Airport have challenged Minister for Transport, Shane Ross on his decision to appoint Fingal County Council as noise regulator.

The decision effectively will give the council the responsibility to decide whether or not there will be restrictions on night-time flights from the airport, as planning conditions attached to the new runway's planning permission would dictate.

The residents representative group FORUM, wants those conditions to stay in place while the daa argues the night-time restrictions would have a hugely negative impact on the airport's business.

IN a statement following the discussion of the issue at an Oireachtas Committee, FORUM challenged the Minister's decision.

A group spokesperson said: 'Most  opposition TD's  and Fingal Organised Residents united Movement (FORUM)  recommend that the  Commission for Aviation  Regulation  ( CAR) is appointed  as the Competent Noise Regulator.

'Minister Ross has already put in motion the process to divide up the Irish Aviation Authority regulatory function and place it alongside CAR.

'It would make a lot of  sense to have the New  Competent  Noise Regulator's function  placed under the same roof as  CAR ( who set maximum  landing charges at Dublin Airport) and the regulatory part of the  IAA  who are to be transferred and will  work alongside CAR.'

The FORUM spokesperson said: 'Many EU countries have designated the equivalent of the IAA and National Government Departments as the competent Noise Regulators.

'Minister Ross makes the comparison that Ireland is not the only one using local authorities for the noise regulation function ie Germany and the UK do.

'However German Local authorities are huge and in the UK he fails to state that in the UK the local authorities only deal with small undesignated airports (Less than 50,000 flights per annum) and that the Secretary of State in the UK has the remit of Competent Noise Regulator over the designated airports Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.'

The spokesperson added: 'FORUM believes that appointing Fingal County Council as the competent Noise Authority is wrong. Fingal County council get between eight and 20% of their rateable income from the DAA and cannot therefore meet the criteria of independence as required by EU Regulation 598/2014.'

FORUM are urging residents to lobby their local councillors on the issue.

Fingal Independent