Restrictions attached to new Dublin Airport runway "catastrophic"

The airport may have to reduce the number of flights operating on its existing runway

Restrictions attached to new Dublin Airport runway "catastrophic"

File photo of an Aer Lingus plane on the runway at Dublin Airport. Image: RollingNews

The head of the Dublin Airport Authority has warned that restrictions attached to the building of a new runway will have "catastrophic" results.

The new runway is expected to open by 2021.

However, the project was approved on the basis that it can’t be used between 11pm and 7am.

DAA Chief Executive Dalton Philips said the conditions will also force the airport to reduce the number of flights operating on its existing runways - during its busiest operating hours.

“It would be a reduction of about 2.4 million passengers per year, because we would have to operate with less flights than we currently have today,” he said.

“So they are very onerous and we would like to see those conditions amended.”

DAA Chief Executive, Dalton Philips with Group Chief Financial Officer this morning, 25-04-2018. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

He said the restrictions could cost nearly 15,000 jobs within 20 years of the new runway opening.

Noise regulator

He said the DAA wants to work with locals to figure out how to fly the highest amount of planes without causing disruption.

“Planes have got significantly quieter as the technology has improved,” he said.

“We want an independent regime that is in place – a noise regulator – which we can enter into dialogue with – and our local community can enter into dialogue with – and come out with something that is independent and fair and works for everybody.”

Path to the world

Earlier Mr Philips described the new runway as “the most important thing Ireland will build in a generation.”

He was speaking as the DAA released its annual results for 2017.

“North Runway will be Ireland’s new path to the world, and will help position the country to compete globally in a post-Brexit environment,” he said.

“It will underpin the growth of Irish tourism, trade, and foreign direct investment for the benefit of the entire country.”

Construction

A main contractor for the new runway is expected to be appointed this autumn; with construction due to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Once complete a nine-month commissioning phase will be observed before it opens.

Mr Philips said any changes to the proposed restrictions will be included in a new noise management regime for Dublin Airport.

Fingal County Council has been announced as the Competent Authority for the regime and Mr Philips said the DAA will “engage fully” with the authority to “make a very strong case for the existing restrictions to be amended and to ensure clarity for airlines, passengers and other stakeholders.”

With reporting from Brendan O'Loughlin