DAA CEO Declan Collier responds to Clare T.D. Pat Breen

July 28th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Following the appearance of the Dublin Airports Authorities CEO, Declan Collier at the Joint Transport Committee Meeting on the 24th June 2010 last, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen wrote to the DAA, CEO, on foot of that appearance requesting clarification on a number of issues which were raised on that occasion.

“Arising from Declan Colliers appearance at the recent Transport Committee Meeting, there were a number of issues relating to Shannon Airport which required further clarity, namely the need to ensure that the US Pre Clearance Facility at Dublin Airport is not promoted at Shannon’s expense, the role of the management and governance structure to reflect the need for Shannon Airport to have control over its own business development, the plans for an upgrade of the Duty Free area and the name of the Company, the Dublin Airport Authority and the need for a name change in my view to enhance the reputation of the Company.”

“Declan Collier has assured me that they will be devoting their efforts to promoting both locations to the international aviation community and I will be closely monitoring the situation to make sure that Shannon gets its fair slice of the cake. I understand that agreement has been reached between the US and Irish Governments which now allows all Private Aircraft to use the Shannon facility and this is very welcome. This unique facility provides an opportunity to expand the Airports business jet traffic and marketing is key to ensuring that airlines all over the world are made aware of the benefits of the facility and the time when they can save by transiting through Shannon en route to the US.”

“In terms of the Airports management and governance structures, while Shannon Airport does not have control over its own business development, projects like the Lynx Cargo project will continue to be long-fingered and I am disappointed that the DAA has no plans to change this. I do welcome, however, the confirmation that a new retail strategy is planned in the coming months for Shannon and I hope that this will include a much necessary upgrade of the Duty Free Shop.”

“For some time, I have been concerned that the renaming of Aer Rianta in the State Airports Bill 2004 to the Dublin Airport Authority; only serves to give credence to the message that Dublin Airport is the dominant player and it does little to foster greater cooperation and good will between all three Airports. Declan Collier has advised me that this is a matter for the shareholder, and this is an issue which I will be taking up with the Transport Minister Noel Dempsey when the Dail resumes in September.”

“While I welcome Declan Collier’s response to my letter on foot of his appearance at the Transport Committee Meeting, there are still a lot of unanswered questions as to the future of Shannon Airport under the remit of the Dublin Airport Authority; particularly the need for greater local management autonomy, which I will be continuing pursue over the coming months.”