Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-02-04-Speech-4-322-000"

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"Mr President, I was very happy to support the call for special attention to be paid to EU islands, in particular the call for special tax arrangements, the need to tackle depopulation and the call for better air services. In this context I would like to take the opportunity to raise the issue of air access to three islands off the west coast of Ireland: Inis Mór, Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin. Up to now, access has been by a fixed-wing aircraft, and the islanders are very satisfied with the current arrangements. However, in recent times an attempt has been made to replace fixed-wing aircraft with helicopter access, and the islanders are most dissatisfied with this proposal. Today, here, I just want to clarify that, as far as the EU regulation, under which the Public Service Obligation (PSO) operates, is concerned, the term used is ‘air carrier’, which is defined as an undertaking with a valid operating licence or equivalent. So the decision on the matter, whether fixed-wing or helicopter, lies with the national authorities, and the needs and wishes of the islanders should be complied with. Today we call for better air services. The people of Inis Mór, Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin deserve better air services."@en1

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