National Aviation Policy For Ireland Launched

Author:Ms Donna Ager and Mark Western
Profession:Maples and Calder

More than two decades have passed since the Irish Government set out a formal statement for the aviation industry in Ireland, so the recent publication of a new National Aviation Policy for Ireland (the "Policy") was widely welcomed from industry experts, many of whom believe there has been a lack of clarity in recent years.  Development of the Policy began in December 2012 with the final paper including extensive input from various stakeholders and associated industries. It is a significant milestone for the aviation industry as it is the first time that the Irish Government has provided a policy framework within which the aviation sector can continue to grow and develop.

In recent years the aviation sector growth in Ireland has outstripped almost every other industry and today almost 4,000 of the world's commercial aircraft are owned by Irish entities with many more being leased from or through Ireland and almost all major aircraft operating lessors have a presence in Ireland. Further, Ireland's geographical location and island status means that the aviation industry is of vital importance for links, both economically and socially, with the rest of the world.

The objections, actions and guidelines in the Policy enable the Irish aviation industry to build on its strong international reputation and adapt to challenges ahead. It achieves these aims by focusing on the principal goals of:

increasing Ireland's worldwide connectivity; ensuring the continued growth of the aviation sector in Ireland, positioning Ireland as a recognised global leader for aviation; and ensuring the continued contribution of the aviation sector to Ireland's growing economy. The Policy addresses the challenges for the aviation industry in Ireland in the following key areas.

International Context

The Policy states that Ireland will continue to actively engage and participate in international aviation policy making, influence regulation in the sector and be an active player in any future developments, highlighting Irish input in the proposed EU Aviation Package, consultation with the National Aviation Development Forum and seeking election to the International Civil Aviation Organization ("ICAO") Council in 2016 as the means to achieve these objectives.

Safety, Security and Sustainability

The Policy sets out a commitment to improving the impact of aviation on the environment and working with others to facilitate the sustainable growth of the sector.  However, it is...

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