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Dublin Airport progresses with plans for a second runway

20 April 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

Operator daa is progressing with plans to build a new runway at Dublin Airport by 2020, following recovery of passenger numbers over the last two years.

Dublin Airport progresses with plans for a second runway

Image: Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport’s 3,110 metre second runway will be built 1.6km north of the existing main runway and is expected to be delivered by 2020.

The airport received planning permission back in 2007. However, plans were put on hold due to the economic downturn and subsequent reduction in airport demand. The past two years have seen a reversal in this trend resulting in a recovery of passenger numbers. The airport believes the continuation of growth at Dublin Airport is dependent on having sufficient capacity available to satisfy future demand. 

‘Continuation of growth at Dublin Airport is dependent on having sufficient capacity’

“Last year was the busiest year ever in the airport’s history with a record 25 million passengers travelling in 2015. Passenger numbers continue to grow strongly in 2016 with double digit growth recorded in the first two months of this year,” said daa Chief Executive KevinToland.

“We are progressing our plans to deliver the new runway in accordance with the development and pathway for growth outlined in the Government’s National Aviation Policy (NAP).  Dublin Airport’s North Runway will significantly improve Ireland’s connectivity supporting trade, foreign direct investment and tourism,” he added.

“Dublin Airport’s North Runway will significantly improve Ireland’s connectivity supporting trade, foreign direct investment and tourism”

Dublin Airport suggests the strong recovery in passenger numbers is due to a combination of almost 50 new routes and services, significant additional capacity increases on a number of existing routes, and nine new airlines operating at Dublin Airport.  In total long-haul connectivity has grown by more than 65 percent since T2 opened, while short-haul connectivity has increased by 16 percent.

65 percent growth in long-haul connectivity

“Driven by demand from airlines and passengers, Dublin Airport’s current runway infrastructure is at capacity during the peak hours and this must be addressed to enable future growth. The north runway will significantly improve Ireland’s connectivity which plays a critical role in growing passenger numbers and sustaining the future economic development of Ireland,” said Mr Toland.

Dublin Airport believes the new North Runway development has the potential to open up connectivity to a range of long-haul destinations, particularly in fast growing economies in Asia, Africa and South America. The airport estimates the runway could support a further 31,000 new jobs over the next two decades, contributing €2.2 billion to GDP.

North Runway development

Proposed North Runway development. (Image: daa)

The current planning permission was granted with 31 conditions attached.  “We have stated previously that two of these conditions are onerous and would severely reduce the future operational capacity of the airport at key periods. This has implications on our ability to support future traffic growth at the airport and we are looking at how this can be addressed,” according to Mr Toland.

“We are very conscious of balancing the national and business needs with those of our local communities and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours in relation to this project,” Mr Toland added.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, welcomed the news saying that the runway project was a vital piece of infrastructure that would support Ireland’s continuing economic recovery.

“It has the potential to create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, over the coming years”

“This project is of major strategic importance to Ireland as an island economy, in terms of improved connectivity. It has the potential to create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, over the coming years. Our National Aviation Policy (NAP) recognises our dependence on aviation for our links with the rest of the world and the importance of ensuring that the sector can continue to grow to underpin economic recovery and development.

“In recent years, Dublin Airport has experienced a strong and sustainable return to growth. However, in order to capitalise on this growth and sustain it into the future, we need to put in place the appropriate airport infrastructure. I welcome daa’s plans in this regard and also the company’s commitment to work closely with all stakeholders, including local residents and community groups, in relation to the delivery of the new runway.”

Enabling works are due to commence later this year with construction of the north runway scheduled to start in 2017.

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