‘You buy beside an airport, you hear the airplanes’ – Locals on Dublin Airport noise

‘You buy by an airport, you hear the airplanes’ - Henry McKean talks to locals about Dublin Airport noise.
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.09 14 Jun 2024

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‘You buy beside an airport, yo...

‘You buy beside an airport, you hear the airplanes’ – Locals on Dublin Airport noise

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.09 14 Jun 2024

Share this article

As the aviation industry continues to call for the passenger cap at Dublin Airport to be scrapped, locals in North Dublin remain split on the issue.

Earlier this week, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told the Oireachtas that the passenger cap, which currently stands at 32 million passengers a year, is losing Ireland routes, traffic and jobs.

He said other EU states are laughing at Ireland over the cap – with Ryanair sending aircraft Copenhagen, Morocco and elsewhere instead of Dublin.


He also blamed ‘a couple of Nimbys in north county Dublin’ for the thousands of noise complaints about Dublin Airport since the new runway opened in August 2022.

That came after Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell defended the cap – and challenged Newstalk Breakfast to send reporter Henry McKean out to the area to hear the noise for himself.

When Henry spoke to locals in the Swords suburb of Ridgewood, he found mixed opinions about the noise.

One woman told Henry she hasn’t noticed much difference since the new runway opened.

“The aircraft now are so much quieter than when we moved in,” she said. “You had all the One-Elevens and the noisy aircraft.

“They used to be very loud – on a still day, particularly, you could hear them.

“I don't notice anything different with the new runway. It’s what you would expect if you buy near an airport.

“I lived all my life by a train railway track – you buy by a railway track, you hear the trains, you buy by an airport, you hear the airplanes.”

She said the plane noise is, ‘no worse than hearing the bus roaring up the back road’ – with her husband noting that it has become “white noise” to many residents.

Other residents said the noise continues to keep them awake at night.

“It's actually quite noisy when the very big planes are taking off,” said one woman.

“You can feel the difference since the way it used to be - it was more quieter before - since the new runway.

“They just go overhead all the time and keep me awake and well, they start about 6:30am in the morning and they go on until about 10:30pm at night.”

'Getting worse'

Another resident said there are other noises to deal with once the planes stop flying.

“Definitely, later on at night when it dies down - around 9pm, 10pm or 11pm - you can hear the winding up of the aeroplanes – and they are big aeroplanes because, obviously, they're on the bigger runway.”

He said the noise is “definitely” getting worse.

“We are in consultation with the DAA and we know they have some nice charts there to show us where noise levels are actually increased – but we don’t seem to be on that chart,” he said.

“First and foremost, there is a cost involved in everything.

“So larger noise levels would mean that we have to, you know, double or triple glaze our windows and that has to come from somewhere.”

Passenger cap

Airport operator DAA has submitted a planning application to increase the passenger cap; however, the process is expected to take a significant amount of time.

An appeal to An Bord Pleanála is widely viewed as almost inevitable and the issue could then come before the courts.

Ryanair is urging the Government to bypass the process and lift the cap through legislative instrument or Ministerial order.


In a statement to Newstalk, Ryanair said the ‘vast majority’ of aircraft at Dublin Airport are now up to 50% quieter than they were 16 years ago.

The airline claimed that ‘almost all’ the recent noise complaints about the airport come from people “who purchased or built their houses in the last 30 years, well aware of the fact that Dublin Airport has been located at Collinstown since 1939”.

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