Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) executive Diarmuid Ó Conghaile will step down from his role at the end of October in a surprise move.
He was the designated executive director of what will be a reconstituted IAA, once the new legislation is passed.
Mr Ó Conghaile was Director General for Strategy, Planning and Economic Regulation at the DAA, which operates Dublin and Cork airports, before leaving to join Ryanair in 2016. At Ryanair, he was initially director of public affairs and moved on to run Malta Air. subsidiary.
He was appointed executive director-designate of the IAA in early 2021.
The new legislation dissolves the Aviation Regulatory Commission and separates the commercial and regulatory functions of the Irish Aviation Authority.
Under planned new legislation, air navigation operations, including air traffic control, will become a separate entity called AirNav Ireland.
The current executive director of the IAA is Peter Kearney. He will be the CEO of AirNav when it is formally established.
A reconstituted IAA will be the general sector regulator responsible for safety and security, as well as regulating passenger charges at Dublin Airport, consumer protection and the licensing and supervision of the travel trade.
However, the implementation of the legislation has been delayed by more than a year.
Last month, Seanad leader Regina Doherty told the independent irish that the House was being asked to pass crucial legislation designed to implement structural change without assurances regarding the significant concerns Senators have about the proposed laws.
Ms Doherty stated that the IAA “has resisted” taking on additional responsibility. She and other senators have also raised concerns that the Department of Transportation has taken advantage of advice from the IAA in drafting elements of the new legislation, rather than relying on outside advice.
The Irish Air Line Pilots Association has called for a number of amendments to the legislation, including mandatory peer support programs across airline operators that should be reviewed at least once every three years.
IAA President Rose Hynes thanked Mr. Ó Conghaile for his contribution to the implementation of the separation policy. The IAA board will initiate a process to find a successor to Mr Ó Conghaile as soon as possible.
The aviation authority recently formally opened its new 87-metre-high control tower at Dublin Airport, which was built at a cost of €50 million.