Eamon Ryan needs to “get up off his backside” and intervene in the row about restrictions at Dublin Airport, Michael O’Leary has said.
Fingal County Council has ordered the airport to reduce the number of night time flights following complaints from local residents in North Dublin.
The airport has six weeks to comply and Ryanair has urged the officials and the airport to come up with a compromise.
“Fingal County Council introduced this kind of restriction on flight movement seven years ago when they approved the second runway,” Mr O’Leary told The Pat Kenny Show.
“It was a sop to the local residents.
“It should have been dealt with long before now but what it means is we now have an airport with two runways but if this notice is acted on, it will have less flights at Dublin Airport than when it had only one runway.
“We will have doubled the runway capacity but reduced the number of flights that operate off those runways.”
Local residents have said the noise from the second runway is having a negative impact on their mental health and that living next to it is “absolute torture”.
Despite the strength of feeling, Mr O’Leary feels there is a “simple” solution that will satisfy both sides.
“Instead of having a nighttime ban between 11pm to 7am, move it to 12 midnight to 6am and then largely the problem is solved,” he said.
“We would also make the point that when this planning condition was introduced seven years ago, we were flying noisier aircraft.
“Ryanair and Aer Lingus have invested very heavily in new aircraft and new engine technology that reduced noise by 50% per flight.
“Dublin Airport is the beneficiary of most of that investment; we have much quieter flights.”
Mr O’Leary continued that if Dublin Airport is forced to comply with the county council’s order it would have a ‘devastating’ impact on Ryanair’s ability to schedule flights between 6am and 7am in the morning.
“It really is not acceptable that Ireland - which is an island on the periphery of Europe - has its aviation policy and its connectivity determined by a small number of residents in St Margaret’s and by a couple of county councillors in Fingal,” he said.
He accused Transport Minister Eamon Ryan of taking little interest in the policy and urged him to get involved personally.
“There are solutions here but it needs the Transport Minister to get up off his backside and intervene here,” he said.
“So, we don’t have a couple of residents or county councillors setting our national aviation or connectivity policy.”
The Green Party has been contacted for comment.
Main image: Split of Eamon Ryan and Michael O'Leary