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Aviation Restart Plan provides essential roadmap for safe reopening

15th April 2021 - Regina Doherty

A new plan to reopen and restart Ireland’s aviation industry provides a foundation for a safe return to travel and should be fully endorsed and actioned by all relevant State bodies, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Regina Doherty has welcomed the publication of the Aviation Restart Plan 2021, compiled by industry leaders on the National Civil Aviation Development Forum, saying, “For months now, workers who rely on aviation and their families have been crying out for some form of roadmap for their return to full employment. Finally, now we have a really substantial plan drawn up by industry experts and leaders.

“I welcome Minister Hildegarde Naughton’s commitment to continue to work with the industry following the publication of today’s plan. The Minister has said she now intends to consider the report and its proposals fully and will engage across all relevant Government Departments.

“At least 145,000 people rely on the aviation industry for employment in this country, with a further 250,000 workers in the hospitality industry also benefiting. Reopening the industry safely and getting these people back working should be a top priority for Government.

“Our economy benefits greatly from international connectivity and showing that we can safely reopen will assist the rest of our economy as it rebounds too.

“The plan makes some key recommendations aimed at finding a pathway to safely resume travel, including policies on vaccinated travellers, increased use of antigen testing, engagement with other countries like the US to develop reciprocal arrangements and the rollout of the planned EU Digital Certificate.

“This plan, fully implemented, could see the aviation industry beginning to restart as early as June.

“The next few weeks are crucial; this plan shows considerable thought but also raises considerable concerns if Government doesn’t act fast. This is a plan the Government must take seriously in order not to be left behind by some of our most important international partners,” Senator Doherty concluded.

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