Flights to continue ‘as normal’ at Dublin and Cork airports in event of ‘no deal’ Brexit
FLIGHTS will continue to operate as normal at Dublin and Cork airports even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Cork Airport Managing Director Niall MacCarthy has said.
Mr MacCarthy, who is also the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) Executive Brexit Lead, was speaking as he addressed a meeting of the Seanad Special Select Committee on the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union at Leinster House this week.
Mr MacCarthy said: “I would like to reassure the Committee that we expect flights will continue to operate as normal at Dublin and Cork Airports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, emergency regulation will come into force at EU level to protect air connectivity for passengers and freight between the EU and the UK. This regulation will take effect immediately in the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal on October 31 and will apply until October 2020.”
Mr MacCarthy also outlined some of the impact a ‘no deal’ scenario would have on Kilkenny and Irish passengers.
He stressed: “In terms of security processes, there will be no changes or additional requirements for UK-bound passengers departing from Irish airports, as a result of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. UK-bound passengers will simply continue to comply with all current security processes and requirements, with no change anticipated from existing processes.
“Furthermore, the Irish Government has now confirmed that duty-free shopping will return on alcohol and tobacco products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This means that passengers departing from Irish airports to UK airports will be able to purchase these products at duty-free prices, but only in the event of no deal.
“Other than this, we do not anticipate any other significant implications for passengers departing through Irish airports.”
In relation to the implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit for passengers arriving at Irish airports from the UK, Mr MacCarthy added: “There will be no additional or onerous immigration checks applied to UK passport holders at Irish airports. It is important we all get this message out as there is likely to be confusion and uncertainty particularly with UK tourists considering coming to Ireland.
“DAA has identified all relevant signage that will need to be changed within our airports in this scenario. This new signage has been printed and is currently being held in storage on standby to be switched over, if and as required. In the event of a no-deal, additional DAA customer services staff will also be deployed in immigration areas at the airports, for a period, to advise passengers, and to deal with any queries or confusion which could arise.”
UK arriving passengers will also need to ensure that they are aware of allowances applicable in relation to duty-free and tax-free goods and that they are in compliance with these allowances.
Mr MacCarthy warned: “If they are carrying goods in excess of these allowances, they will need to make a declaration at the red customs channel. Generally, UK passengers arriving in Irish airports who have not made purchases exceeding their allowances will have the normal smooth experience except using the green rather than the blue channel. Random checks will continue to arise.”
Mr MacCarthy admitted that, like all businesses, in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, Irish airports could potentially face “disruptions, delays, and interruptions to its own supply chains”.
For this reason, he added: “We in the aviation industry, strongly believe that everything possible should be done to avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit, in order to safeguard tourism and all the jobs throughout the country which are dependent on it.”