28/04/2010

Local Air Traffic Control Applauded

The successfully-run British Isles-wide system of airspace control was this week held up as an example of best practice in dealing with air navigation.

Ireland's Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey has called on Europe to look at how the UK and Ireland cooperate in air navigation, after the disruption caused by the volcanic ash plume.

Speaking on Monday night, Minister Dempsey called for a central air navigation system for Europe saying it was ridiculous that 27 different authorities should control the airspace over each EU member state.

Mr Dempsey said Europe should look at the cooperation between Ireland and the UK as an example.

Meanwhile this morning, the Government Taskforce on Emergency Planning met for the tenth time to discuss the aftermath of the air crisis.
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The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) reported that Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports are meeting full capacity demand from the airlines and asked that as airlines rapidly return to full schedules, passengers, (including those still stranded abroad) should remain in contact with their air carrier for further information.

The IAA also reported that Irish controlled airspace is meeting full capacity required by the airlines.

In a statement released this morning, the taskforce said that although a small amount of ash is still being detected in the atmosphere there has been no deterioration of air quality.

Also at the meeting, the Commission for Aviation Regulation reported that enquiries from the public are continuing and it reminded passengers who wish to claim refunds of reasonable costs to contact their air carrier in the first instance.

Claims to air carriers should be made within six months of their return to Ireland. Passengers should allow a reasonable amount of time for air carriers to process claims. Further information on passenger rights is available at www.aviationreg.ie

(DW/BMcC)

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