Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD says the mishandling of the appointment of a Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport threatens to derail the development of a second runway at the airport.

New EU regulations in 2015 require that a competent authority be designated as a noise regulator and any delay in appointing one will delay the construction of a second runway at Dublin Airport.

Earlier this year Minister Ross outlined his decision to appoint Fingal County Council as the competent Noise Regulator, despite questions remaining whether the Local Authority has the capacity to fulfill this role.

Deputy Troy said, “Earlier today I questioned Minister Ross on the rationale behind his decision to appoint Fingal County Council as the competent Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport. Minister Ross could not explain the rationale for his decision in any detail.

“Worryingly, Minister Ross couldn’t even confirm if he had met with the CEO of Fingal County Council to determine their readiness, capabilities or competency to fulfill this role before the announcement was made. He also failed to outline whether he met with other interested parties such as Dublin Airport Authority and major airliners who regularly use the airport. It’s pretty obvious for all to see that this decision was a rushed job without any meaningful work being done in advance of its announcement.

“The relevant regulation from the EU came into operation over two years ago. However today Minister Ross couldn’t even give a detailed timeframe as to when he will have the necessary legislation ready to come to before the Oireachtas for consideration. This clearly illustrates just how much the Minister is removed from his job.

“Dublin Airport is the most important piece of national transport infrastructure in the State. It is of strategic importance for the entire country. The airport is already operating at full capacity. Minister Ross’s failure to adequately deal with this issue is costing the State jobs and investment,” concluded Deputy Troy.