'It's like a train going by' - Residents hold meeting over Dublin Airport noise

A meeting was held on Thursday to discuss the level of aircraft noise as a result of the North Runway
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.05 20 Jan 2023

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'It's like a train going by' -...

'It's like a train going by' - Residents hold meeting over Dublin Airport noise

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.05 20 Jan 2023

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One resident of north Dublin has said planes flying over people's houses is like "a train going by you."

Michael O'Rourke was speaking following meeting on Thursday to discuss the level of aircraft noise from the airport, after the opening of the North Runway last August.

Mr O'Rourke, who is from St Margarets and The Ward Residents' Association, told Newstalk Breakfast this is not what was agreed to with authorities.


"The concerns are that the DAA received planning permission in 2007 with conditions that they would have specific flightpaths," he said.

"When the [runway] opened in August, they immediately started to diverge northwards when they reached 650 feet.

"They're allowed divert up to 70°, which is a fairly right turn, over houses that had no insulation.

The Dublin Airport runway is seen from Terminal 2 in October 2010. Picture by: Arcaid Images / Alamy Stock Photo

"I'm living in a house at the airport that was insulated by DAA, I'd done a lot of insulation myself, but DAA came in and provided this insulation.

"It has made a big difference, it's still fairly noisy.

"However the people living in houses were absolutely in shock - you had jets going over them at around 750, 850, 900 feet.

"That would be something similar to you standing beside a railway line and a train going by you less than 50 metres away."

'Absolute joke'

Mr O'Rourke said the DAA has made various apologies.

"When the runway opened we welcomed the opening of the runway, but we expected that they were going to adhere to the planning permission that they received from Fingal County Council and the restrictions put on by An Bord Pleanála," he said.

"DAA have consistently now ignored those [and] have made various statements to say 'Oh we made a mistake'.

"They're a semi-state body who went in, got planning permission, got restrictions, spent almost €300 million building a runway - and now years later say 'We never spoke to the Irish Aviation Authority, we're sorry and we'll move the flights another little bit'.

"It's an absolute joke".

'The whole crux of the matter'

Put to him that people who live near airports must expect some noise, he said:"My house is here since the mid-1800s.

"Other people who bought houses, who did move into the area, had looked at plans and were assured by DAA that their houses would not be affected.

"That's the whole crux of this whole matter.

"The planes were to come out in a westerly direction for a period of five nautical miles and hit 3,000 feet before they were allowed diverge.

"They are now diverging at 650 feet - Dublin Airport is 240 feet above sea level - it's really only 400 feet.

"As somebody said previously: A good golfer would nearly hit some of the planes," he added.

DAA statement

In a statement last week, the DAA said: "On commencement of operations, an issue regarding departure flightpaths was identified which resulted in some local communities being unexpectedly overflown, for which daa sincerely apologises.

"DAA immediately started a review with the aim of satisfactorily resolving the issue as soon as possible.

"It is important to note that this issue did not have any impact on the safety of aircraft.

"The review process involved engagement and coordination with a number of the relevant stakeholders and it identified that some of the Instrument Flight Procedures (IFPs) were not aligned to modelling assumptions included in daa’s planning submissions.

"The outcome of the review, in consultation with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), proposed updates to the affected IFP, specifically the current Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) which will result in flightpaths aligning more closely with the information previously communicated by daa.

"The revised SIDs were required to go through regulatory review and consent processes before they could be implemented.

"They have now been approved and will become operational on February 23rd, 2023 in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Aeronautical Information Publication cycle.

"In the interim weeks, the continued use of the current SIDs is necessary, but there will continue to be no departures off North Runway before 0900 during that period," the DAA added.

Main image: Aerial view of Dublin Airport's North Runway. Picture by: DAA

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DAA Dublin Airport Dublin Airport Noise Irish Aviation Authority Michael O'Rourke Newstalk Breakfast North Runway St Margarets And The Ward

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