Passengers at Dublin Airport could “potentially” be made to wait outside in the pouring rain, the airport’s CEO has admitted.
On Sunday over a thousand people missed their flights because of the huge queues going through security and the airport’s CEO, Dalton Philips, was hauled in front of the Oireachtas Transport Committee to explain himself.
Concerns have been raised about whether such scenes could happen again and Mr Philips was asking by the Committee’s chair:
“If it’s raining, will people be out in the rain?”
“Potentially, chair,” Mr Philips replied sombrely.
He continued that he could not guarantee normal service at the airport because staff were still falling ill with COVID-19 - leaving unexpected gaps in the roster:
“If we do not have that capacity because of COVID issues - we forget that it’s still there with our officers who are in very close proximity with the travelling public,” he said.
“If we have absences, we’re right on the margin.”
Management at the airport have been roundly criticised by the political class; Taoiseach Micheál Martin described what had happened was “unacceptable” and said he had demanded a plan “so this type of thing doesn’t happen again”.
While yesterday Senator Timmy Dooley went further and urged Mr Philips to resign:
“I think the board should be gone,” he told Newstalk.
“They should have fired the Chief Executive a number of weeks ago. I think they should have brought in some strategic management from some other airport.
“There was a time, when Aer Rianta operated, it was providing management to airports right around the world. We can’t manage our own airport right now.
“It’s an embarrassment to us. It’s an appalling situation to find ourselves.”
Main image: Queues outside Dublin Airport on Sunday May 29th 2022. Picture by: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie