The Government has formally established the new Irish Air Navigation Service semi-State company.
he new unit will be responsible for levying charges on commercial aircraft using Irish airspace, a role currently undertaken by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
Its creation follows the signing into law last December of an act that will result in the separation of commercial activities from the IAA.
A new company, The Irish Air Navigation Service, has just been registered, with three civil servants as directors. Those directors include Ethna Brogan, an assistant secretary responsible for aviation at the Department of Transport.
Bill Morrissey, a principal officer at the department’s air navigation services division, is also a director of the new company. The third director is Aoife McQuillan, a higher executive officer at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The constitution for the new company notes that the number of directors at the firm, including the chairperson, shall be “seven, eight or nine”. Each director can be elected for a period of five years, but is eligible for reappointment after that time has ended.
The move is being made as it’s seen as best industry practice to separate the current dual roles held by the IAA
The for-profit air navigation service activities currently undertaken by the IAA will become a commercial standalone business under the Irish Air Navigation Service.
The move is being made as it’s seen as best industry practice to separate the current dual roles held by the IAA.
The aviation safety and security regulatory functions of the IAA and the economic and consumer protection roles of the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) are being merged to form a new regulatory entity. The CAR will be dissolved as a result.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation currently has a number of roles, including setting passenger charges at Dublin Airport, consumer protection and licensing of airlines.
Diarmuid Ó Conghaile was originally going to be the head of the new IAA entity.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Ó Conghaile was chief executive of Malta Air, a subsidiary of Ryanair.
He has previously held other senior management roles at Ryanair, and also worked with airport operator DAA and An Post.
The process to recruit a new Aviation Regulator on a permanent basis is ongoing
But Mr Ó Conghaile suddenly departed the IAA last year, taking up a new role as the new CEO of Wizz Air Malta.Declan Fitzpatrick, an IAA veteran, was named last October as interim Aviation Regulator.
The process to recruit a new Aviation Regulator on a permanent basis is ongoing.
The constitution for the Irish Air Navigation Service also notes that the new company can, with ministerial approval, acquire or establish subsidiaries or invest in other undertakings.
It adds: “The aggregate amount standing invested (whether by the purchase if shares or the provision of loans or guarantees of loans) by the company in enterprises (including subsidiaries) shall not exceed €25m without the prior approval of the minister.”
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