Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-146"

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"Mr President, I think it is useful, from time to time, to remind the Commission that Ireland is an island and that we have a complete dependence on airports to be part of Europe and part of the rest of the world. The important issue for me is regional airports and that they get full support. In many cases I keep hearing the argument that helping small airports will increase the carbon footprint but I do not think that is true. When all flights go out of Dublin, it just means that all the people who live near Cork Airport, as I do, or Shannon Airport or Waterford or Kerry, have to drive to Dublin or take a second flight – a shuttle to Dublin – and then go on. Whereas often these flights could reasonably, with support for regional airports, go from a regional area directly to where they need to go. My other point concerns disabled passengers. It was not long ago that, when you got the breakdown of charges for airports in Ireland, it would have a wheelchair charge. Many disabled persons contacted me and asked that this be removed because they felt that other passengers would feel that they were paying extra because of people in wheelchairs. It is very important that we realise that one out of every ten persons in Europe will have a disability, possibly even more than that – up to 17% sometimes – and that there should not be specific charges."@en1

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