HomeBussinessIrish air traffic controllers shared €4.1m once-off payment

Irish air traffic controllers shared €4.1m once-off payment


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That is according to the 2023 annual report for commercial semi-state agency AirNav Ireland which shows its CEO, Peter Kearney, was one of those staff members to benefit from the €4.1m pay-out. He received €19,340.

The report shows that pre-tax profits at AirNav Ireland increased by 71pc to €20.44m as it benefited from the continued recovery of air travel.

AirNav Ireland provides air traffic management services in the 451,000 sq km of airspace controlled by Ireland and the airspace forms a crucial gateway for air traffic between Europe and North America.

Last year, AirNav Ireland was hived off from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) where the company acquired assets from the IAA with a value of €310.4m.

AirNav Ireland employs air traffic controllers in Dublin, Cork and Shannon, and radio officers in Ballygirreen, Co Clare to ensure the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic.

The agency’s 2023 annual report shows that revenues increased by 5.2pc to €194.5m where “en route” revenues accounted for €135.14m or 69pc of overall revenues.

The annual report disclosed that AirNav Ireland at its April board meeting declared a dividend of €4.5m to the Government.

The accounts disclose that the once-off payment of €4.1m last year to staff affected by wage cuts brought overall staff costs to €100.19m.

A note states that the pay was made after the IAA’s Industrial Disputes Resolution Board (IDRB) in May 2023 recommended that a payment should be made to staff who were the subject of a pay reduction, implemented as a cost containment measure in 2021 in response to Covid-19.

The note says the payment was made in October 2023 and when employer’s PRSI is included, the cost of the payment was €4.5m.

Wage and salary costs at AirNav Ireland last year totalled €73.69m and numbers employed increased from 595 to 626 – that includes 297 air traffic controllers.

The accounts show that the number of staff between May 1 and December 31 earning more than €175,000 was two with three earning between €150,000 and €175,000.

A further 23 earned between €125,000 and €150,000 with 107 earning between €100,000 and €125,000.

The accounts say on April 30, 2023, Mr Kearney was appointed as CEO of AirNav Ireland on a salary of €225,000 per annum. Mr Kearney previously served as CEO of the IAA.

Last year, Mr Kearney’s total pay, including pension payments of €54,000 and the €19,340 once-off payment, amounted to €221,000.

Staff welfare and hospitality costs amounted to €300,000.

Chairman Bryan Bourke said that in 2023, air traffic exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and overall, air traffic grew by 14.3pc in 2023 compared with 2022.

During the year, 368,700 overflights were managed in Irish-controlled airspace, an increase of 14.6pc on 2022 levels, while commercial air traffic at Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports taken together increased by 15.7pc to just under 275,000 movements.

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