Dublin Airport is ‘unsustainably dominant’ and there should be more flights from regional airports, a Clare TD has claimed.
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has voiced support for the move warning that there is a “real risk” that Ireland will lose out on business from airlines unless the cap is increased.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Clare TD Cathal Crowe said the cap is not “feasible in the long-term” but said the State must do more to encourage airlines to explore alternatives to Dublin Airport until it is increased.
“There’s also airports on the other side of Ireland,” he said.
“And my view today… is of course we need to do something in the context of Dublin but we can’t be blind to the fact that there are four airports in the other half of Ireland, all vying for a 10% market share.”
Deputy Crowe is a member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee and said other European countries have experienced a similar dependence on a single airport.
“Finland and indeed the Netherlands, have looked at this,” he said.
“They looked at where you have an excessive, unsustainable dominance of one airport i.e. the capital city and there should be a little bit of rebalancing.”
Since Dublin Airport opened a new runway last year, many locals have complained that their quality of life has been negatively affected by the resultant increase in noise pollution.
Deputy Crowe said the Transport Committee would listen to the concerns of local residents and the impact of any change to the passenger cap should be “really central” to the decision.
“We’ve met residents of St Margaret’s and they’ve come in and met members of the Committee,” he said.
“They would feel very few mitigation measures have been put in and maybe that’s where the planning process has to be fully played out.”
A decision on whether to lift the cap will be made in late 2025.
Main image: Passengers disembark from planes at Dublin Airport. Image: Phil Crean A / Alamy