The Irish government has announced the formation of a task force to secure the recovery of the aviation industry.
According to The Irish Times, transport minister Shane Ross said that the task force will advise "on the framework for restarting aviation" when the COVID-19 crisis end.
Key industry stakeholders will reportedly be appointed to the task force next week, and the task force will report to the government within a month after the stakeholders' appointments.
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The Irish Times quotes Ross as saying "Ireland has historically had a huge dependence on aviation. As an island economy built largely on international trade and foreign direct investment, aviation is the lifeline that connects us to the global economy.
"We do not have the advantage of international road and rail connections that predominate for other countries to support the international movement of people be it for business, tourism or social purposes.
"The process of economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis will depend on the recovery of the aviation sector."
Interrelated Stands Of Work
Ross also said that, in addition to the task force, the Department of Transport will progress the development of an aviation recovery plan via a number of interrelated strands of work.
He stated, "Firstly, we are looking to the experience of other countries in opening borders and monitor the effectiveness of measures to control any resumption of COVID-19 growth.
"We will consider how a phased approach to reopening might developed based on the criteria outlined by the European Commission as a basis for an aligned European approach.
"Secondly, in consultation with the National Facilitation Committee, my department and the Department of Health will agree the new protocols that should be applied to promote health and virus control in the aviation journey.
"Thirdly, we will continue a close bilateral engagement with both state-owned and non-state owned parts of the industry that are critical to future connectivity with regard to capability and readiness to resume operations."
Ross added that the Department of Transport will liaise with the Department of Public Expenditure on what support measures, if any, other than the supports that have already been adopted may be necessary.
According to Ross, these will "facilitate the rapid return of a strong aviation industry that can, in turn, support the wider economy through the recovery phase".
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