Published on March 2nd, 2023 | by Mark Dwyer


Declan Fitzpatrick Appointed as the New Aviation Regulator

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, T.D., has announced the appointment of Mr Declan Fitzpatrick as the new Aviation Regulator/Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority. The appointment will take effect on the separation of the new Irish Air Navigation Service from the IAA, expected towards the end of April 2023.

The Chairman of the IAA Board, Ms Rose Hynes has welcomed the appointment of Mr Fitzpatrick saying: “I wish to congratulate Declan on being appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the newly consolidated Aviation Regulator. Declan takes the reins at a very important time and will exercise a role of critical importance as Ireland’s new Aviation Regulator, with responsibility for safety, security, economic and consumer protection functions.

It is vital that Ireland’s regulatory arrangements remain steadfastly focused on aviation safety and responsive to the many challenges facing the aviation sector on a number of fronts. Continuing to build Ireland’s international reputation as a leader in aviation regulatory standards will be central to the new Chief Executive’s role.”

The Government’s aviation regulation reform initiative involves the establishment of a single national civil aviation regulator, through the merging of the aviation safety and security regulatory functions of the IAA with the economic and consumer protection functions of the Commission for Aviation Regulation. The IAA’s existing for-profit air navigation services function will be established as a standalone commercial semi-State body the Irish Air Navigation Service also to be known as AirNav Ireland.

Mr Fitzpatrick has thirty years of experience in the aviation industry and 16 years as an aviation regulator, including as an independent commissioner for the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the UN specialist agency responsible for developing global aviation standards. He is an Engineering graduate, has an MBA from DCU and has an M.Sc. in Risk and Systems Change from TCD.

The appointment is made under Section 69 of the Air Navigation and Transport Act 2022 following an open recruitment process and consultation with the Board of the IAA. The appointment will take effect on the separation of the new Irish Air Navigation Service from the IAA.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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