21-Apr-2011 12:45 PM

DAA urged to sell non-core assets: Irish review

Ireland’s economist Colm McCarthy, who is leading a review on Irish state assets and liabilities, has recommended the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which runs Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports, sell its non-core assets to reduce debts. Mr McCarthy also recommended the government sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus at an “opportune” time. The DAA also has a 20% stake in Dusseldorf Airport, which the DAA has valued at EUR150 million. The DAA’s debts total EUR1 billion, largely in relation to the construction of Dublin Airport’s T2. Mr McCarthy said regulatory arrangements applying to Dublin airport should be “reviewed and in particular, the scope for political intervention in capital investment decisions curtailed”. Mr McCarthy concluded that any sale of assets at the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) should be limited to its air traffic control service, which could include a merger with UK’s NATS, with the IAA’s safety, licensing and certification functions should remain in state control. Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny said this week that the government was sticking to its target of raising EUR2 billion from the sale of non-strategic state assets despite the report outlining more than double that amount.

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