Green Party says new runway at Dublin Airport could contravene climate law

The project is set to cost €320m and is expected to be delivered in 2020

dublin, airport, runway, authority, built, 2020

Image: DAA

The Green Party says a proposed €320m expansion of Dublin Airport may contravene a recent climate law.

The DAA is to build a new runway at the airport 1.6km north of the existing and main runway.

It will cost €320m and is expected to be delivered in 2020, with an estimated 1,200 jobs set to be supported during the development.

Dublin Airport received planning permission for the new runway in August 2007 but the plans were put on hold due to the recession.

But Green Party member of Fingal County Council, Councillor David Healy, said: "We have a real concern that this announcement has been made without consideration of the wider implications that a third runway will have on the local area".

"We don't think all the relevant factors have been considered".

The party says the expansion may contravene Section 15 of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.

"The plan for a third runway is based on predictions for passenger numbers which are incompatible with the 1.5 degree global warming target agreed in Paris", the party says.

"Dublin Airport Authority is simply on auto pilot and paying no regard to national and global policy to reduce emissions".

Image: DAA

Authorities say they had a record 25 million passengers travelling in 2015, adding that it was the busiest year in the airport's history.

The DAA says the North Runway project has the potential to open up connections to long-haul destinations in Asia, Africa and South America.

DAA also says the planning permission of the runway was granted with 31 conditions - adding that two of the conditions 'would severely reduce the future operational capacity of the airport at key periods'. The authority says they will be looking at addressing the issues.

“We are very conscious of balancing the national and business needs with those of our local communities and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours in relation to this project,” Chief Executive Kevin Toland said.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Toland explained that "we have great relationships [with our neighbours]. We've been working with them for the last 40 years... We have a very well established working processes with them, and we're starting the process of sitting down with them right now".

Acting Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe welcomed the news, saying “in recent years, Dublin Airport has experienced a strong and sustainable return to growth. However, in order to capitalise on this growth and sustain it into the future, we need to put in place the appropriate airport infrastructure".