A new bill could see private planes banned from Irish airspace.
People Before Profit (PBP) are tabling a bill that would ensure only a small number of jets would be allowed to fly here.
PBP TD Bríd Smith said the move would tackle a “major source of carbon emissions”, noting that private planes are “completely inequitable in that only the very wealthy can use them”.
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) March 30, 2023
This proposal follows a report from Greenpeace that found that there were 6,671 private flights in Ireland in 2022.
The number of private jet flights taken from Ireland in 2022 increased by more than 150% compared to 2021.
According to the report, the most common route for private aviation was Dublin Airport to London.
The shortest private route was the 70.38km flight between Kerry and Shannon.
Sinn Féin is also calling for the introduction of a €3,000 private jet tax.
On The Pat Kenny Show, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Coordinator Saibh O’Neill said that the emissions of a single journey from Dublin to London is 10.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Ms O’Neill said that there is a lot of inequality in how aviation emissions are generated, noting that the “super-rich and the corporate elite” cause the most emissions.
“We can’t let them use up more than their fair of the carbon budget," she said.
“We have to address the inequality. One flight that emits ten tonnes of carbon per annum is not equivalent to the once a year or once a two-year flight that people make to go on a holiday.”
In January, South Dublin County Rabharta Glas Councillor Liam Sinclair told Newstalk Breakfast that private airplanes should be banned because it would mean a small change to how businesses operate but have a "huge" impact on the environment.
“In business, time is money”
Kevin Byrne, a retired Air Corps lieutenant colonel and airport safety and security auditor told Pat that “quite a bit of the aviation business is done for business purposes”.
He said that to ban all aviation would reduce total pollution by 4%, but it would have huge societal impacts: “The outcome of that would be it would change the world in every sense of the word, not just from our island which is of course tourist based.”
Aviation businesses know they are pollutants
Mr Byrne said that private aviation is necessary for urgent business and that “in business, time is money”.
The retired officer also said that aviation businesses do realise that they are pollutants.
He said that many are attempting to go carbon neutral or carbon zero through sustainable fuel in the future.
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