Ireland’s Dublin Airport is a key hub for both North American and Eastern-European flights. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus are based out of Dublin Airport and it currently operates using two runways. Currently, the construction of a third runway is underway, this article will look into why the DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) decided to spend €320 million on a new runway?
In 2007, An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission to Dublin Airport for the construction of a new North Runway. In 2008, the project had been put on hold, due to the recession. However, in 2016 a recovery in the Irish economy, increasing passenger numbers at Dublin Airport meant talk of a new runway appeared again. In 2019, the construction of the runway commenced, its completion is expected later this year (2021).
The 3rd Runway Restrictions
A total of 31 restrictions have been given to the DAA in regards to the new runway which impact its operation. The most noticeable are:
- The runway is only to be operated from 7 am to 11 pm.
- There is a 65 movement cap on its operation right across the airfield from 11 pm to 7 am.
Now you might be thinking, this is way too harsh. And you’d be correct. In 2019, between 11 pm and 7 am, Dublin Airport was averaging almost 100 aircraft movements. This cap on 65 movements would drastically bring down both passenger numbers and aircraft movements. “The importance of these peak hours is further highlighted when you take into consideration the one-hour time difference between Ireland and continental Europe.” It is estimated that up to 3 million passengers will be lost due to the restrictions.
However, on 18th of December 2020, the DAA sent a planning proposal to Fingal County Council addressing these two restrictions. They proposed:
- to only use North Runway from 6 am to midnight, rather than 7 am to 11 pm as set out in the current planning conditions.
- to introduce a Noise Quota Count system from 11.30 pm to 6 am, rather than an airport-wide 65 cap from 11 pm to 7 am as set out in the current planning conditions.
- introduce a noise insulation grant scheme for those most impacted by the proposed amendments.
- to introduce an enhanced noise monitoring framework.
Construction of the new runway
The construction of the new runway began in 2019 and is set to be completed in 2021. This will then follow with testing done. According to a DAA spokesperson, the runway will be opened and be operational in 2022.
According to the Dublin Airport website, the runway length will be 3,110 metres and 75 metres wide. The runway will be located 1.69 km north of the existing 10/28 runway. The runway will be conveniently named 10L/28R.
The new Northern Runway at Dublin Airport brings a lot of economic benefits. According to the DAA, the new runway will bring 31,000 new jobs. It will allow for more aircraft to fly into the airport, bringing in more passengers and connecting more businesses from Ireland to the wider world. It is estimated that the runway will increase the GDP by €2.2 billion.
Learn More about the project on the Dublin Airport website or click here.
Sources: DAA, Dublin Airport.