Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD says the Irish Government needs to get to grips with the challenge facing the aviation sector in Ireland in light of Brexit.

Deputy Troy made the comments after publishing a new policy document aimed at addressing the key challenges facing the aviation sector in the years ahead.

Deputy Troy said, “The aviation sector is critically important to a small and open economy such as Ireland. As an island nation we are strongly dependent on a competitive, safe and efficient aviation industry for economic success and prosperity. Ireland has a proud history in aviation and we have built a robust industry down through the years. However this industry is now under threat and we need a national mitigation plan to reduce the impact of Brexit.

“Unfortunately, the Government has not provided any mitigation plan to reassure the aviation industry. The Government has failed to set out the importance of aviation access for Irish citizens and businesses. It is essential that our EU partners understand that a bad aviation deal for the UK is bad for Ireland. Fianna Fáil has published this policy document to highlight the importance of our aviation industry and to begin a constructive debate on its future.

“Central to our policy is the recognition of the need to place aviation at the heart of the Brexit negotiations. It is essential that our unique position is taken into consideration when negotiating any new aviation deal. The document also recognises the need to maintain the status quo as much as possible post-Brexit and ensure that prohibitive restrictions are not introduced for airlines and their passengers.

“We also need an early agreement on aviation in order to provide certainty for the industry. Failure to achieve this could lead to a sudden economic shock for the entire aviation industry which would adversely impact on Ireland. Fianna Fáil believes this agreement should be formalised at least one year ahead of the official Brexit deadline of March 2019. Securing a continuation of the Open Skies agreement between the EU and UK must be central to this agreement.

“Our policy document also outlines a roadmap for the future development of the aviation industry in Ireland. It sets out the need to further develop our airport infrastructure in order to increase both passenger and freight capacity. The global aviation industry is set to double between now and 2036 and its important Ireland is ready to exploit this growth. This includes expanding our aviation leasing operations alongside growing our aircraft maintenance and repair sector,” concluded Deputy Troy.

The Brexit Challenge for Aviation in Ireland