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“Ireland’s airport regulatory system has failed consumers, airlines and even the DAA itself. It has failed consumers by allowing costs at Dublin to rise by over 200%; it has failed airlines by allowing 3rd world facilities at our airports and it has failed the DAA by allowing it to continue its dismal standard of performance”, Michael Cawley of Ryanair said today.

Michael Cawley was speaking at the annual conference of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland on the theme ‘Thriving as an Independent in a Regulated Environment’.

“The current monopolistic regime of the DAA is derived directly from the UK where the BAA was given monopoly control of London’s airports. In order to regulate Ireland’s airport monopoly the government imported the regulatory framework from the UK, which the UK Competition Commission has now deemed to be a failure. In spite of this failure the Irish government resolutely sticks by such regulation and ignores the continued failings of Aviation Regulator, Cathal Guiomard, to regulate the industry adequately. Confirming Ryanair’s view that regulation is no substitute for competition the UK government has now ordered the sale of Gatwick and Stansted in order to provide real competition to Heathrow and for London”, he said.

Michael Cawley said that the recent refusal by Cathal Guiomard, to correct his error ridden decision on airport charges, despite the scathing criticism of a government appointed, independent, Appeals Panel, “patently demonstrates the level of regulatory arrogance which has been allowed to fester in Ireland for too long”.

“The result of this “Nearyesque” style of regulation has been a serious fall in passenger numbers at Dublin of over 400,000 since October 2008 and Ryanair, Dublin Airport’s biggest customer, being forced to withdraw 4 aircraft this summer (resulting in a further loss of almost 2 million passengers in 09/10). In light of such continued regulatory failures Irish industry, enterprise and taxpayers will once again be left to count the high cost of yet another useless regulator”, he said.

“Ryanair calls for the break-up of this failed CAR regulatory system and the implementation of real competition at Dublin Airport with competing terminals”.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland annual conference was held in the Four Seasons Hotel today. Sponsored by IMRO the conference was addressed by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

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About the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. The mission of the IBI is to champion the agenda of independent broadcasters in Ireland and to be a distinct and coherent national voice in the ongoing campaign for competitive equality across the sector.

The independent voice of Ireland, 64% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.382 million listeners. With more than 1500 people employed in the sector, independent broadcasters make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the Irish economy. The IBI represents 2 national radio stations, 4 regional radio stations and 27 local radio stations. For more information please visit: www.ibireland.ie