Aran Islands Air Service
Following a tender process carried out by the Office of Government Procurement on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, it was announced on 26 August 2015 that the preferred tenderer for the air service contract is Executive Helicopters Ltd. It was also indicated that the award of the contract was subject to the observance of a voluntary standstill period of 14 days and that no contract would be concluded until after the expiry of the standstill period on 9 September 2015.
In accordance with legal advice received, it has now been decided to extend the voluntary standstill period to 16 November 2015 with a view to obtaining clarification on the availability of Galway Airport for the duration of the 4 year contract from 1 October 2015 as set out in the Request for Tenders. The Department will be writing to the owners of Galway Airport in that regard.
In order to ensure that an air service continues to be provided to/from the Aran Islands, the Department will be engaging with the existing service provider (Galway Aviation Services Ltd trading as Aer Arann) with a view to agreeing the terms of an extension to the existing contract from 1 October 2015 to 1 February 2016.
Minister of State McHugh will be maintaining his contacts with the island communities to ensure that there is a clear line of communication with them as the process moves forward.