A decision around a third terminal at Dublin Airport will need to be made sometime this year.
That's according to Eoghan Corry, editor of Air & Travel Magazine, who was speaking amid calls for an expansion of the country's largest airport.
Evan Cullen, outgoing president of the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA), has said Dublin needs a third terminal which should be operated by a different group to DAA.
He said this would future-proof Dublin Airport, which risks falling behind if it does not react soon.
Passenger numbers currently stand at between 32 and 33 million, with 80 million predicted in 2050.
Eoghan told The Pat Kenny Show a new terminal makes sense.
"We certainly have to think of a third terminal," he said.
"We're already, by the way, at numbers - 32, 33 million - where under the planning permission Dublin Airport have reached their cap.
"The terms of the planning permission is that they should be submitting plans for a third terminal when they go beyond that.
"We're at a point now where sometime this year, the big decision on the third terminal will need to be made".
'Change the front door of the airport'
Eoghan said the Government needs to have a plan in place.
"The previous transport minister was a big fan of a third terminal on the western campus - it's undeveloped, it's 634 acres.
"It would change the front door of the airport from the M1 to the M2, which would solve a lot of traffic problems.
"That was then and this now; I do think there'll certainly be a rethink by the current administration".
Eoghan said this need stems from a badly-built Terminal 1.
"We wouldn't need a third terminal if what is now Terminal 1 had been better built," he said.
"It was pretty much functional but little bits were added on to it along the way.
"So you ended up in a very chaotic situation by the time... what is Terminal 2 was opened in 2009".
'Problems on the passenger side'
Eoghan said there are several issues with the airport buildings as they stand.
"They're badly connected together, passengers have difficulty moving between them and the bags have even greater difficulties," he said.
"That leaves Dublin Airport as it stands as sort of an inverted C, and they talking now about six or eight new contact gates to the north of that.
"Even to move anywhere there, you're talking about demolishing hangers, you're talking about problems on the passenger side as well.
"Two terminals would be fine - but it's exactly like the Heathrow situation.
"The old Terminal 1 in Heathrow... was eventually demolished when Terminal 5 was built.
"What we've seen is the likes of Terminal 5 in Heathrow - Terminal 2E in Charles de Gaulle - where a large terminal, you get a train underground to get a middle area where contact gates are very easily put up, if that was an option for Dublin that was probably the way they should have gone.
"If they're thinking of a third terminal, they would probably be best [to] do something like that and do it on the western side," he added.
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