The industry members of the National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF) have issued the following statement to coincide with the publication of Ireland’s Aviation Restart Plan 2021 by the NCADF Regulatory Working Group.
“On 5th March, the Steering Committee of the National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF) and wider industry stakeholders met with Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, and Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton, where it was agreed that the industry and the Government needed to urgently develop an exit strategy from the current Covid-19 restrictions in order to re-establish Ireland’s international connectivity and enable the recovery of the aviation sector.
“The Aviation Restart Plan published today by the NCADF sets out a balanced and evidence-based approach to enable the recommencement of aviation and the restoration of Ireland’s connectivity. It contains a comprehensive set of recommendations which, if finalised and implemented, can facilitate the restoration of connectivity whilst continuing to protect public health.
“The NCADF looks forward to Government urgently taking the required steps to enable the finalisation of the plan in order to allow it to be implemented. The aviation sector works to long lead-times and in order to be ready to respond to demand in the coming months as vaccination levels reach critical mass, tangible parameters must be set to enable our industry to plan for the re-opening of international travel (including for the removal of the ban on all non-essential international travel and any requirement for hotel quarantine).”
The NCADF industry members are: Aer Lingus; daa; Ireland West Airport; Irish Aviation Authority Air Navigation Service Provider; Ibec; Ryanair; and Shannon Airport Authority.
Donal Moriarty, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Aer Lingus said: “The need for a data-driven, risk-based Irish roadmap to reopen international travel is urgent. This will enable the restoration of connectivity and ensure that the economy is supported to deliver the recovery that will be vital for the country.
“With the publication of Ireland’s Aviation Restart Plan today by the National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF), a considered and effective exit strategy is outlined. What is critically important now is that the Government urgently takes the required steps to finalise the plan and enable its implementation.
“Our UK neighbours recognise the importance of outlining an exit strategy for the sector and have endeavoured to do so in recent days.
“In the US, as the vaccination roll out continues apace, potential inbound tourists are considering where to travel later this year.
“The aviation sector works to long lead-times. Parameters for the opening of our economy including the restoration of international travel, aligned with our vaccination roll-out timeline and appropriate public health metrics, need to be developed.
“Government urgency and focus is therefore required to develop a clear and speedy pathway for the recovery of the aviation sector in this country.”