Call for law change to allow second runway at Dublin Airport

Ryanair says it is a vital and urgent piece of infrastructure

dublin, airport, runway, authority, built, 2020

Image: DAA

There are calls for an end to "repeated delays" in the delivery of a second runway at Dublin Airport.

Irish airline Ryanair is asking the Attorney-General's department to speed up legislation to make the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) the authority to monitor noise regulation.

Ryanair has also reiterated its support for the development of a second runway for Dublin.

It claims this is a vital and urgent piece of national infrastructure, as runway capacity at Dublin is full at peak times.

In a statement, the carrier says the runway "is critical to the continued growth of air travel to and from Ireland especially in the run up to - and after - Brexit, where multinationals are looking at Ireland's air transport links as an alternative to London or other EU cities."

"Repeated delays by the Attorney-General's department to expedite this simple piece of primary legislation, which is necessary to allow the second runway to proceed, are totally unacceptable."

An Bord Pleanála granted Dublin Airport planning permission to build a 3,110 metre runway in 2007, known as North Runway.

But it was put on hold due to the economic downturn.

The decision to progress the runway, within the airport's existing land bank, was taken in April 2016.

"Fully committed"

Speaking to High Noon, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary says Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has to step up to the plate.

"There is plan to build a second runway - but there's some planning restrictions, one of which involves allowing the IAA to monitor the noise of aircraft taking off, and the noise reductions that we've committed to.

"That hasn't proceeded because the statutory instrument giving the power to the IAA to... begin this noise monitoring has been tied up for over a year in the Attorney-General's office."

"We'd like him to dot the 'i's, cross the 't's, issue the statutory instrument and let's get on with the job.

"I think it's an area where Leo Varadkar's Government can begin to demonstrate that the old indulgence has now changed, there's a new management in charge and they're going to get things done".

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport says Minister Shane Ross "is fully committed to promoting the development of airport capacity".

"The short term requirement in this regard is the new runway at Dublin Airport that is being progressed by the daa."

Minster Ross published a policy statement last September in relation to regulatory changes to promote the reduction of aircraft noise, which will impact on the operating arrangements for the airport.

"The delivery of legislation in line with this statement is what is being referred to by Mr O'Leary and the minister’s officials are continuing to work closely with the Office of the Attorney-General to bring that necessary legislation forward", the spokesperson says.

The spokesperson adds it is "complex legislation and the fact of the matter is that it takes time".