Essential for the Mid-West Region that Minister appoints a person to serve on the DAA Board

October 29th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen is urging the Minister for Transport and Marine Noel Dempsey to appoint a person from the Mid-West Region to the Board of the Dublin Airport Authority when he selects his 5 Nominees to serve on the Board shortly. Deputy Breen’s comments follow the Minister’s confirmation of the structure of the Board which will be put in place following his announcement that the separation of the three Airports has been deferred until 2011.

“When the break-up of the three Airports was first mooted I warned that the entire process would become a complete fiasco. During the passage of the State Airports Bill 2004 through the Dail, I also warned the Government at the time that the Bill was a botched attempt to deal with the Aviation Sector and that they were putting the cart before the horse by not insisting on the finalisation of the Business Plans for the three Airports in advance of any plan to break up the former Aer Rianta.”

“Since then much of the debate in relation to the future of Shannon Airport has centred on the proposed transfer of assets and in particular as to who would retain control of Aer Rianta International. We had the ridiculous situation in my view where the Dublin Airport Authority was appointed judge and jury in divesting the assets to the two other Airports which was never going to work.”

“Now that the Minister has decided to park the break up until 2011 and restructure the boards it is very important that he appoints a person from the Mid-West Region to serve on that interim Board.”

“For too long, Shannon Airport has had to play second fiddle to Dublin and can ill-afford to have another Board constituted which is dominated by persons from the Eastern Region who have no interests outside of the pale. The newly appointed Chairman of the SAA will sit on the Board but I believe because of the severe turbulence which is hitting Shannon Airport with the uncertainty which the Airport is facing with a threat to further reduction in services by both Ryanair and Aer Lingus that it is very important that the Region has a strong voice at the Dublin table.”

“We need to have somebody for the Region who is going to be able to fight for Shannon’s share. We have already witnessed this Government’s lack of action here in the Mid-West Region with the Task Force Report just left to gather cobwebs on their desks. The challenges which Shannon Airport is going to face over the next two years will be the greatest that the Airport has ever had to face in its history. The battles at Board level will be vital if Shannon is get it fair share both in terms of finance and in terms of developing and sustaining its routes and this Region needs a strong voice at that table.

“I would urge Minister Dempsey to appoint a person from the Mid-West Region who has the necessary aviation background to the Board of the DAA when he appoints his 5 nominees shortly.”

ENDS.

Dáil Question

216 .

To ask the Minister for Transport further to Parliamentary Question No. 540 of 16 September 2009, if he will report on the proposed make up of each of the individual boards at Cork, Shannon and Dublin Airports; the number of Government appointees to those boards; the number of union representatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 13th October, 2009.

Ref No: 35180/09 and 35241/09

Answered by the Minister for Transport
Noel Dempsey, T.D.

Reply

I propose to take questions 213 and 216 together.

In December 2008, following the unanimous recommendation of the boards of the three State Airport Authorities, I announced the deferral until 2011 of a decision on the separation of the Airports under the State Airports Act, 2004. I have no proposals to change that policy position.

I have agreed with the three airport authorities new governance arrangements which provide, inter alia, for revised board structures. The core change is that now there will be reciprocal membership of the Boards of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and the Cork Airport Authority (CAA) and Shannon Airport Authority (SAA). Under this arrangement the Chairmen of the CAA and SAA will be appointed to the DAA board and DAA senior executive nominees will be appointed to the boards of the CAA and SAA.

Accordingly, the new structure of the 13 member Board of the DAA is as follows: 1 Chairman
1 CEO
1 CAA Chairman
1 SAA Chairman
5 Members
4 Worker Directors

In accordance with the State Airports Act 2004 all of the directors of the DAA are appointed by the Minister for Transport, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, taking account of the outcome of elections held in accordance with the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act 1977, when appointing the worker directors.
The new structure of the 9 member Boards of the CAA and SAA is as follows:
1Chair 6 Members (including a senior DAA executive)
2 Worker Directors appointed on a temporary basis.

In accordance with the State Airports, Act 2004, all directors to the Cork and Shannon Boards are appointed by the Minister for Transport with the consent of the Minister for Finance. Under Section 9(9) of the 2004 Act, the Minister may also appoint on a temporary basis persons as worker directors following