811. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the security measures in place to ensure that regional airports and aerodromes comply with EU law in relation to the common rules in civil aviation security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12719/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Aviation Industry Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Responsibility for carrying out inspection and assessment of airport security now rests with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).  
Security oversight by the IAA involves a programme of  inspections, tests and audits in accordance with EU Regulation 300/2008, to ensure compliance with common rules and standards on aviation security and procedures.
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812. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of airports that have been inspected since 2004; if an evaluation of security arrangements at licensed aerodromes and regional airports has been carried out to ensure compliance with security standards for flights arriving and departing from these airports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12720/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Aviation Industry Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Responsibility for carrying out inspection and assessment of airport security now rests with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).  I am advised by the IAA that 24 airports and aerodromes have been inspected since 2004 in accordance with the relevant EU Regulations, which lay down common rules and standards on aviation security and procedures.
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279. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he has taken to ensure that Córas Iompair Éireann makes funding available for independent legal advice for the 10,000 members of its pension scheme to investigate the problems in those schemes. (Question 5051/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

280. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to initiate an independent investigation into the governance of the two Córas Iompair Éireann pension schemes. (Question 5052/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

281. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to ensure that Córas Iompair Éireann answers all outstanding questions raised on behalf of the 10,000 membership relating to issues surrounding the CIÉ pension schemes. (Question 5053/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

285. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the CIÉ pension fund has been underfunded in terms of the company contributions in each of the years 2009 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and the steps he will take to direct it to address the shortfall in order to ensure the fund is fully solvent and that there is no threat to fund members’ pensions. (Question 5091/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

286. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Córas Iompair Éireann submitted severely flawed funding submissions to the Pensions Authority that do not fully reflect the reality of the situation in regard to the current and future funding of the defined benefit pensions of up to 10,000 members of the CIÉ pension scheme. (Question 5094/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

287. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to investigate if the election process to the CIÉ pension fund management committee was in compliance with regulations. (Question 5096/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

176. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason there is no legislation forcing insurance companies to disclose claims statistics to show transparency and justify rising costs. (Question 40820/17 asked on 27 Sep 2017 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This matter falls under the remit of the Minister for Finance as it relates to the collection of claims statistics arising from insurance claims and the legislation governing insurance generally, rather than the specific legislative requirements governing the obligation for motorists to have insurance arising from domestic and international law.
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1491. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the changes being made to the role of the Coast Guard in view of the fact that search and rescue pilots on 24-hour duty will no longer be expected to undertake inter-hospital patient transfers; the alternative procedures being put in place to provide air transport for patient transfers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38259/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Air Ambulance Service)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The provision of Air Ambulance/Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (AA/HEMS) is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive through the National Ambulance Service. The role of the Coast Guard in the provision of a HEMS service has been and will remain a secondary role to the primary SAR function and is provided on “as available” basis. Following a recent review by the Irish Aviation Authority in relation to arrangements fo...

1525. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den an Aire Iompair, Turasóireachta agus Spóirt an mbeidh na ceanglais chéanna maidir leis an dátheangachas atá ar Bhus Átha Cliath ar chuideachta (sonraí tugtha) a bhfuiltear tar éis 10% de ghnó bus na cathrach a bhronnadh uirthi. (Question 37260/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Seirbhísí Iompair)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Is ábhar don Údarás Iompair Náisiúnta (UIN) an cheist a ardaíodh agus chuir mé ceist an Teachta ar aghaidh chuig an UIN le haghaidh freagra díreach. Tabhair comhairle do mo oifig phriobháideach mura bhfaighidh tú freagra laistigh de dheich lá oibre.
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1306. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if sea and river search and rescue vehicles are charged when travelling through road tolls; if the boats they tow are charged separately; and if they have recourse to claiming this money back. (Question 19188/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - Road Tolls)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads is vested in Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII, formerly NRA) under Part V of the Roads Acts 1993 to 2015.
The Roads Act 1993 sets out the legislative provisions regarding tolling and section 62 of the Act specifies the categories of vehicles which are exempt from the pay...

342. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the Irish Aviation Authority has a role in ensuring that planes and helicopters flown by the Air Corps are fit to fly and that their pilots are not intoxicated; and if they have a role in suspending or revoking licences in the case of pilots found to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs before flying or while flying. (Question 18474/17 asked on 12 Apr 2017 - Air Corps)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 342 and 343 together.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for the regulation of civil aviation in Ireland under the provisions of the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993. It does not have a role in the regulation of military aviation - including aircraft operated by the Irish Air Corps - or in the testing of Air Corps pilots, or in the suspension or revoking of licences of Air Corps pilo...

343. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has communication with the Irish Aviation Authority, IAA, in relation to an Air Corps pilot recently found during a random drugs test to have taken cocaine; and if he has had confirmation of the facts, if the IAA will investigate the matter. (Question 18475/17 asked on 12 Apr 2017 - Air Corps)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 342 and 343 together.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for the regulation of civil aviation in Ireland under the provisions of the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993. It does not have a role in the regulation of military aviation - including aircraft operated by the Irish Air Corps - or in the testing of Air Corps pilots, or in the suspension or revoking of licences of Air Corps pilo...

1165. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has waived all traffic costs on military flights; if so, when this decision was made; and the cost to the Exchequer as a result of this decision. (Question 13043/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Aviation Issues)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The practice of exempting en-route charges for certain specified classes of airspace users, including military aircraft, derives from the exclusion of State aircraft from the scope of the 1944 Chicago Convention establishing the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). While the application of the exemption from charges is at the discretion of the State concerned, the policy and general practice at international level is to...

334. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if electric hybrid car users can be exempt from parking charges while parked and plugged into charging points. (Question 12552/17 asked on 09 Mar 2017 - Parking Charges)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​Over the coming years, a transition to alternatively-fuelled vehicles will be required to effect a substantial reduction in Ireland’s overall transport emissions.  My Department recently developed a draft national policy framework for alternative fuels infrastructure - in line with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (2014/94/EU) - and carried out a public consultation from 27 October to 23 November 2016 on this draft fra...

344. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding that was allocated to the Dublin South-Central constituency for tourism and hospitality skills training in 2015 and 2016 by his Department and the Department of Education and Skills. (Question 5312/17 asked on 02 Feb 2017 - Departmental Bodies)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Patrick O’Donovan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 325 and 344 together.
The Department of Education and Skills has overall lead responsibility for skills development policy generally across all sectors, including hospitality and tourism, and oversees the bulk of training provided nationally, channelling funding through SOLAS for further education and through the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for higher education.
A...

713. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will amend legislation in order that wheelchair users have a legal right to use the wheelchair spaces provided by service providers similar to the way on-street disabled parking bays are reserved for disabled persons; and if disabled spaces on buses, trains and so on can be reserved. (Question 3972/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Disability Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this important issue.
An accessible public transport system is of fundamental importance and improved access is one of the statutory objectives of the National Transport Authority.
Accessibility features are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and newer systems such as the Luas are fully accessible.  With regard to existing infras...

243. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to ongoing vandalism and anti-social behaviour that could jeopardise the provision of services to green line Luas stations beyond Sandyford; and the actions his Department is undertaking to deal with them under the Railways Acts. (Question 2186/17 asked on 18 Jan 2017 - Anti-Social Behaviour)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Deputy Shane Ross: This issue was raised with me earlier this week and I understand there have been some recent incidents in relation to ‘stone throwing’. Transdev, the Luas operator, is working with local community groups in relation to the issue. 
Anti-social behaviour is first and foremost a matter for Transdev as the Luas operator in conjunction with, as appropriate, the Garda.
The Deputy is aware that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has statu...

1571. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the high level of insurance will be examined for taxi drivers who have an SPSV driving licence in order to drive a wheelchair-accessible taxi as due to the high cost of insurance there is no incentive for new wheelchair-accessible taxi drivers to take up the WAV grant scheme; and the steps the Government is taking to address this issue. (Question 41874/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Insurance Costs)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Deputy Shane Ross: ​I am acutely aware that the rising costs of motor insurance for drivers generally are also affecting the taxi industry. There are reports of large increases for existing policy holders and difficulties in obtaining insurance for new operators. The implications of the current insurance difficulties faced by those in the taxi sector are of concern to me and the Government.
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD and Minister of Stat...

274. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will ensure a text and e-mail are issued to holders of driving licences six months in advance of their expiry date, given that persons driving on a lapsed licence are not covered by insurance and that each year many persons find that their licence has expired and that they have been driving without a valid licence. (Question 16468/16 asked on 16 Jun 2016 - Driver Licence Renewals)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​This is an operational matter for the National Driver Licensing Service, which is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.
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205. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he will provide sufficient funding to Tipperary County Council to carry out the very urgent grade 5 repairs that are required on the busy historic bridge at Ardfinnan in County Tipperary which has been reduced to one lane due to heavy traffic, and closed during the recent floods for safety reasons, thus affecting the town’s long-term economical viability. (Question 10949/16 asked on 19 May 2016 - Roads Maintenance Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in Tipperary (including Ardfinnan Bridge on the R665) is the statutory responsibility of Tipperary County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council’s own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the l...

206. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he will provide funding to start phase 2 of the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus in Ballyogan in County Dublin. (Question 10950/16 asked on 19 May 2016 - Swimming Pool Programme Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) provides for grant aid to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools. I am advised that a swimming pool is a substantial element of Phase 2 of the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus in Ballyogan in County Dublin. In January of this year, my Department contacted local authorities and sought expressions of interest in a limited ...

924. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of annual subscriptions to external membership bodies and groups his Department has, including the cost and details. (Question 46732/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): My Department has 33 annual subscriptions. Details are contained in the following table. 
 Name of External body or Group  Cost Irish Computer Society €115 Royal Aeronautical Society Membership €474 Engineers Ireland AAIU Membership fees €828 International Society of Air Safety Investigators €144 International Maritime Organisation €42,268 Paris MOU on Port State Control €29,214 International Hydrographic ...

925. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of annual subscriptions to newspapers or magazines his Department has, including the cost and details. (Question 46733/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The information requested by the Deputy is being compiled and will be forwarded within 10 working days
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