The Irish Aviation Authority (“IAA”) has announced the establishment of AirNav Ireland, a new commercial semi-state body delegated with the air traffic management functions and services of the IAA. In Ireland, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (“CAR”) has been the regulator of economic and consumer protection, and the IAA has been responsible for safety, security, and air traffic management services. Under the Air Navigation and Transport Act 2022, CAR and the IAA have merged to create AirNav Ireland, a single independent regulator for the civil aviation sector in Ireland. Our clients should be advised that while their interaction with the IAA will remain the same, the aviation regulatory regime is changing.

The Minister for Transport recently announced the appointment of Bryan Bourke as the Chairperson of AirNav Ireland and Rose Hynes has been re-appointed to the role of Chairperson of the IAA as part of the restructuring. On the 30th of April 2023, the transition of the IAA and AirNav Ireland into two separate and distinct bodies became official.

Under the restructuring, the IAA will be responsible for safety, security, economic, consumer and travel-trade of the aviation sector. This means that services relating to aircraft registration, including the de-registration and export of aircraft or changes in ownership of aircraft, will remain the responsibility of the IAA. The processes involved with aircraft registration and EASA certification will also remain unchanged. Clients should be advised that the provision by the IAA of certificates of airworthiness, permits to fly, and aircraft change/repair certificates will not be affected by the restructuring.

AirNav Ireland will take over the services relating to air traffic management and will be responsible for air traffic control, aeronautical information, and North Atlantic communications. Clients should note that AirNav Ireland will be responsible for the following services, amongst others:

  • Regulation of air navigation service
  • Operation of terminal services
  • Air traffic management technology and safety
  • Flight planning
  • Management of air traffic flow
  • International industry partnerships
  • Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) of potential hazards along flight routes
  • Applications for certain licences, which can be viewed on the IAA website

The establishment of AirNav Ireland will contribute to efficient and sustainable air navigation and air traffic management services in Irish airspace. This development signifies a new era in Irish air traffic management. The IAA has confirmed that there will be no change in the efficiency of air traffic management services in Ireland, and stated that compliance with safety regulatory requirements will remain the number one priority.

For any queries in relation to these changes and how it might affect you or your business, please contact James Duggan, Claire McDermott, or a member of the Aviation and Asset Finance team at Flynn O’Driscoll.

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