Published on April 27th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer0
IAA Focus on Restarting Aviation Following Losses in 2020
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has launched its Annual Report for 2020 showing losses of almost €1m. This loss was a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on Irish aviation. There was a reduction of almost 60% in air traffic levels during 2020 compared to the record numbers in 2019. The IAA safely oversaw 498,000 flights, compared to 1.17 million in 2019. This is despite the positive numbers showing in the first quarter prior to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic bringing the aviation industry to a halt in late March 2020. Turnover was down to €155.5 million in 2020 and the IAA paid a dividend of €40,500 to the State shareholder. The IAA receives no operational or capital funding from the State. Its revenues are generated through charges and fees from the aviation industry.
Speaking at the IAA AGM that was held virtually, Rose Hynes, Chairman of the IAA said, “It was a key achievement of the Company in 2020 to have been able to continue to deliver its essential functions on behalf of the State – ANS/ATM services, safety regulation and security oversight – with no interruption and to the high standard that we expect, despite the pandemic. Playing its role in Ireland’s national response to the COVID-19 emergency, the IAA ensured that Ireland’s skies remained open for vital PPE, medical, food and other cargo supplies. While the past year has been extremely challenging, the priority for the aviation and travel sectors must be a sustainable re-start in summer 2021. I know the Government is aware of the critical importance of aviation to the national economy and societal wellbeing. In line with the vaccine roll-out and as part of a wider travel strategy aligned with the rest of Europe, a sustainable re-start roadmap commencing as soon as possible during the summer months should be prioritised. The IAA will work with the Government and with the wider aviation industry, as COVID-19 risks reduce in the coming months. Sustainability is also an important priority for the IAA. We will launch our Sustainability Management Plan later this year. We operate one of the most environmentally efficient airspaces in Europe and aim to play a leadership role, in line with Government policy, in driving aviation sustainability in the future.”
Also commenting was the Chief Executive of the IAA, Peter Kearney, who said, “COVID-19 has effectively shut down the aviation industry and it will take some time before airlines return to full capacity again. As an island, Ireland relies on a strong aviation service for connectivity, economic growth and wellbeing. A re-start as soon as possible in summer 2021 will position us to save jobs and businesses and plan for a sustainable recovery from 2022 onwards. Despite the impacts of the pandemic across our business in 2020, the IAA continued to deliver for our airline customers and passengers. We completed the fit-out of the new Air Traffic Control tower at Dublin airport and it will become operational in 2021. Our service excellence was also recognised globally as our lifesaving Aireon ALERT service was awarded the prestigious CANSO Global ATM Safety award for 2020. Since it was launched in 2019, many lives have been saved and over 80 rescue operations assisted thanks to the data provided from the operations centre in Ballygirreen, Co. Clare.”