Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 12 April, 2005
Written Answers. - Regional Airports.
Mr. P. Breen Mr. P. Breen
549. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Transport if he has read the recent Air Transport Users Council report and in particular the serious issues being raised in the report about Shannon Airport in an open skies regime; if so, if he plans to introduce PSO’s for international flights as strongly suggested by the authors of the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10059/05]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Mr. Cullen:The overall conclusion of the recent report by the Air Transport Users Council into the potential  impact on Ireland of an EU-US air transport agreement is that an EU-US agreement will be beneficial to Ireland. It is my view that Shannon remains an attractive destination across the Atlantic, particularly from the east coast of the US. Aer Lingus has said that there is a strong transatlantic market for Shannon, and that it will continue to serve that market. Any change in Ireland-US or EU-US arrangements will open up new destinations in the US for Aer Lingus, and this presents new opportunities for Shannon. I am convinced that Shannon, with the right cost base for the airport and with the proper competitive environment, can maintain and grow its transatlantic business. The key to future success for Shannon lies in making sure that Shannon is freed up to find its own market niche, and that it provides its services at the best prices, and in the most transparent and cost effective way.
There is no proposal under consideration for the introduction of a public service obligation, PSO, regime in relation to air services between Shannon and the United States. Such an arrangement would not be permitted under the existing EU regulations governing PSOs, which relate solely to intra-regional air services within the EU.
Dáil Éireann 600 Written Answers. Regional Airports.