Published on 

Minister Ryan announces implementation of new aviation regulation structures

The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. has announced the re-organisation of how aviation regulation is provided in Ireland. This is the most significant change to structures since IAA was formed 30 years ago, in 1993. From May 1st the safety and security regulation functions of the Irish Aviation Authority (“IAA”) are merged with the economic and consumer protection functions of the Commission for Aviation Regulation (“CAR”) to create a standalone single aviation regulator, also to be known as the IAA. The air navigation functions of the IAA move to a separate commercial semi-state company, AirNav Ireland. The re-organisation will support global connectivity and futureproof aviation regulation. It reflects best practice in aviation regulation internationally and ensures that the aviation regulator is fit for purpose to address emerging challenges in the coming decades. Minister Ryan stated that “this is the most significant change to aviation regulation structures since the establishment of the IAA in 1993. It is vital that Ireland’s regulatory arrangements are robust and responsive to the many challenges facing the aviation sector. Securing Ireland’s international reputation as being to the forefront of regulatory high standards will be central to the new aviation regulator.” Minister Ryan continued “in addition, the newly established semi-state company AirNav Ireland will play an essential role for the State in providing safe, efficient and sustainable air navigation and air traffic management services in Irish-controlled airspace and aeronautical communications services for the Shanwick Oceanic region of North Atlantic Airspace”. Minister of State for Transport, Mr Jack Chambers T.D. added that: “I would like to join Minister Ryan in welcoming the new institutional arrangements. The establishment of a new, modern regulator will act as a single point of entry for safety, security, economic and consumer regulation requirements, and it will provide clearer and more efficient lines of communication and customer service for the sector and the travelling public. I would also like to pay tribute to the chairpersons, directors and staff of the IAA, CAR and the newly formed AirNav Ireland for their efforts and commitment to implementing the new arrangements”.

The Minister of State continued “I would particularly like to congratulate the newly appointed Board of directors of AirNav Ireland and the newly appointed directors to the Board of the IAA and wish them well in their endeavours”.


Notes to the Editor

The 2017 National Policy Statement on Airport Charges proposed that a single, amalgamated regulator be created through the merging of the IAA’s regulatory functions with those of the CAR to reflect best practice and developments at a European level. 

Up until today the IAA provided commercial air navigation services as well as being responsible for regulating the security and safety of Ireland’s civil aviation sector. In carrying out this dual role, the IAA regulated its own commercial activities and those of its commercial clients.   The CAR acted as the independent economic and consumer protection regulator for the aviation sector.  The establishment of the IAA’s existing commercial navigation services function as a commercial semi-State body AirNav Ireland and the merging of the IAA’s security and safety regulatory functions, with the CAR, to create a single aviation regulator responsible for economic, safety, security and consumer protection regulation, eliminates the IAA’s dual mandate, bringing Ireland into line with international best practice, and ultimately enhancing Ireland’s regulatory environment in the civil aviation sector.  

Board of AirNav Ireland (new appointments)

Mr. Bryan Bourke (Chairperson)

Mr. Peter Kearney (Chief Executive)

Mr. James O’Loughlin

Ms. Eimer O’Rourke

Mr. Cian Blackwell

Ms. Lourda Moloney

Mr. Aidan Skelly 

Ms. Sharon Donnery 

Board of the Irish Aviation Authority

Ms. Rose Hynes (Chairperson)

Mr. Declan Fitzpatrick (Chief Executive) (new appointment)

Mr. Ernie Donnelly

Mr. Gerry Lumsden

Ms. Joan McGrath

Mr. Dermot Griffin (new appointment)

Mr. Patrick Knight (new appointment)

Ms. Nóirín O’Sullivan (new appointment)

Ms. Ann McGarry (new appointment)