Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe has announced the commencement of a major review of the system for regulating airport charges in Ireland.
This proved to be a bone of contention for Shannon Airport, where Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary pulled the plug when there was no budge on charges but returned immediately when granted the concession he demanded.
Following a procurement process, which attracted bids from a number of Irish and international consultancy firms, Indecon International Economic Consultants have been awarded the contract to conduct the review, which will commence immediately and be completed before the end of the year.
The review will involve full consultation with impacted stakeholders and will deliver options and recommendations for the future of airport charges in Ireland.
The Minister said he considers it appropriate and timely to carry out a comprehensive review of the airport charges regulatory regime at this time. The current system for regulating airport charges has been in place since 2001.
It is intended that, after the completion of the review, the Department will finalise and publish its policy on airport charges regulation, and make preparations for any necessary changes to legislation, by mid-2016.
In the draft National Aviation Policy, the department stated its intention to commission an independent review of airport charges. This was welcomed by many respondents. Aer Lingus, Dublin Airport Authority and Ryanair collectively withdrew their requests for the establishment of an appeal panel, partly because of the commitment to conduct the review.