Mark H Durkan said: ”We have been inundated with calls on this issue and met with Niall McKeever, managing director of Airporter, early this week.
”The reasons behind this decision are quite complex and technical but basically it boils down to how onerous administrating the Smartpass scheme has become and a lack of flexibility from the Department for Infrastructure on how it must be managed.
“As Airporter has grown as a company – and we are delighted to see a successful local business grow as they have – the demands of complying with DfI’s rigid rules around the Smartpass scheme have become tougher and tougher to meet without access to the specialised equipment required.
“Private companies currently cannot use the same scanners you would see on an Ulsterbus,for example.
“Colum Eastwood and I have written to the Permanent Secretary of the Department, who, in the ongoing absence of a Minister, is the most senior person there, asking him to work with Airporter on finding a solution and to adopt a flexible and realistic approach when doing so.
”This is a valuable and much loved service to people of this city and we should not allow a thriving local business be held back by red tape,” added the Foyle MLA.