Ultimatum on Dublin Airport taxi permits "unrealistic and unacceptable" - Darren O'Rourke TD
Dublin Airport Authority's insistence that taxi drivers renew their airport permits - despite the fact that the vast majority are on reduced or zero hours - is unreasonable and unacceptable, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O'Rourke TD has said.
He has called on the Authority to suspend the airport fee - which costs €440 per vehicle - until passenger numbers reach 2019 levels.
"Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the taxi industry leaving many without work or on severely reduced hours. State support has been minimal but many overheads have remained.
"In addition to the range of issues affecting the industry, and which need immediate address by government and the NTA; such as licensing, NCT and vehicle suitability bureaucracies, airport taxis are now faced with an ultimatum from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
"Their insistence that airport taxi drivers renew their airport permits by the end of August - at a cost of €440 per vehicle - and without the usual option of payment by instalment, is completely unrealistic and completely unacceptable.
"Passenger numbers at the airport are down in excess of 95%, meaning work for many taxi drivers has dried up. Drivers report an average four hour wait for a fare.
"The DAA must realise the financial strain that this has placed on taxi drivers. They should engage with industry representatives and, in response to the pandemic-induced circumstances, suspend the airport fee until passenger numbers have returned to 2019 levels.
"The taxi industry is in urgent need of dedicated support at this time. Government, the NTA and the DAA all have a role to play."