Aran Islanders want assurances over air servicesWednesday 16 April 2014 21.57
Residents of the Aran Islands have expressed concern that the consultants tasked to review the need for Public Service Obligation flights have not visited the islands or met any of the stakeholders.
Ernst & Young has already submitted a draft of the review to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
However, so far the only contact islanders have had with the consultants has been a few brief telephone conversations with the manager of Comharchumann Inis Oírr & emailed questionnaires.
A delegation from the islands met members of the Oireachtas in Dublin this afternoon, where they presented a socio-economic study on the need for the service.
Subsidised air services have been provided to the Aran Islands for the past 43 years.
Islanders say any downgrading would lead to depopulation, unemployment and a downturn in tourist numbers.
The PSO contract is worth €1.9 million a year.
The report is to be completed in early May and a decision is due in August.
Islanders say any review must take into account the socio- economic impact of the air service for the 1,250 residents.