Fingal County Council Appointment to Official Independent Noise Monitor
15 February 2018
For Oral Answer on : 15/02/2018
Question Number(s): 32,73,77 Question Reference(s): 7738/18, 7543/18, 7739/18
Department: Transport, Tourism and Sport
* To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the rationale for appointing Fingal county council as the official independent noise monitor for Dublin airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Brendan Ryan T.D.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 15 February, 2018.
The Government has recently approved my proposal to designate Fingal County Council as the Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport in order that Ireland fully complies with EU Regulation 598/2014, which came into effect in 2016.
As the Deputies will be aware, an earlier proposal was that the Irish Aviation Authority would be designated as the Noise Regulator for the purpose of EU Regulation 598/2014. However, as I have explained previously, when this approach was subject to final legal review it was found to be inpracticable in light of emerging EU case law. Ultimately, the measures necessary to ensure the functional separation and independence of a noise regulation unit within IAA would have been impractical to implement from a corporate governance point of view.
The Government's decision to designate Fingal County Council as the noise regulator followed discussions between my Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment and Fingal County Council.
Options were limited in terms of identifying a State body that had the capability to take on this new function and make it work. Whichever body was chosen would need to build up new capacity to carry out what is an entirely new function. The decision was therefore heavily influenced by which bodies already had some of the required capabilities and structures and which also could be expected to build up the other requirements within a reasonable timeframe. I have every confidence in the suitability and capacity of Fingal County Council to carry out this important role.
The full details of how the Regulation will be implemented, including the role and responsibilities of Fingal County Council, will be set out in primary legislation, the drafting of which Government has mandated to commence immediately. I can assure the Deputies that the draft legislation will include a provision for additional funding for Fingal to ensure that it will have the necessary resources to carry out airport noise regulation. There is no question of Fingal having to carry out this new function from within existing resource levels. It is my intention to publish a draft Bill later in the year which will also include the appointment of An Bord Pleanála as the Appeals Body for purposes of the Regulation.