European Aviation Conference 2014, Amsterdam

The programme for the third European Aviation Conference, on the general theme of aviation infrastructure, is now available. One topic will be the forthcoming report of the Davies Commission, on expanding airport capacity in the South-East of the UK, though many other issues relating to airport and ATC infrastructure will also be covered. The conference takes place at Schiphol airport on 6th and 7th November. There is a substantial conference fee discount for students.

As usual the EAC is preceded by a more academic meeting of the German Aviation Research Society (GARS), which attracts aviation researches from across the globe; more information will be available at nearer the date.

By Cathal Guiomard

Cathal Guiomard is a Lecturer in Aviation Management in DCU. Between 2006 and 2014, he was Ireland's Commissioner for Aviation.

2 replies on “European Aviation Conference 2014, Amsterdam”

Excuse a slight deviation from he theme, but as the original post was written by a former aviation regulator, and as public, independent regulation is central to the airline industry, I hope any deviation is excusable.

It has been reported recently that the new minister for transport, Paschal Donohoe, has written to the acting Aviation Regulator to ensure that he protects Dublin Airport’s viability. (As if the regulator would otherwise conspire to render Dublin Airport unviable).

The regulator wants to lower the cap on passenger handling charges, and DAA does not like this. Furthermore, the Irish Times reported recently that the Irish Aviation Authority had weighed into the controversy, apparently raising the fear that an inadequately resourced Dublin Airport could be closed down by the IAA.

So is this a not-so-subtle attempt at regulator capture by the DAA, aided by the IAA and of course the Dept of Transport, the latter reverting to old bad habits?

As Dublin Airport’s traffic is now growing significantly, costs per passenger should be falling, given the huge fixed element in those costs – not least the debts arising from the extravagant Terminal 2. As for the DAA’s ambition to fund a new runway partly out of increased passenger charges, I hope someone points out how much busier airports such as London Gatwick are effectively single-runway operations.

The DAA would not get away with this behaviour under the plain-speaking Leo Varadkar. Clearly plain speaking does not go down well with our political and administrative establishment

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