- Independently-run third terminal at Dublin Airport ‘feasible’, study finds
- Fianna Fáil accuses Minister Ross of missing the real issue – a new runway
- MEP believes Cork and Shannon at risk of being sidelined
Minister for Transport Shane Ross says a decision will be taken early next year on whether to build a third terminal at Dublin Airport.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One (listen here), he said consultation is beginning immediately with stakeholders such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland, DAA, Fingal County Council and the public.
If the terminal gets the go-ahead, it will not be built until 2030-31 at the earliest. The study found that an independently owned third terminal would be both feasible and maximise the choice for airlines, a view which the DAA opposes.
DAA CEO Dalton Philips told Travel Extra earlier this year that he believes the airport can accommodate in the region of 50-55m passengers a year with the existing two terminals.
In a statement following the leaking of the new study, which the DAA itself has not seen, a DAA spokesperson said there are far more pressing needs for Dublin Airport including “a new runway, aircraft parking stands, boarding gates and other facilities”. He said: “It also urgently needs new legislation in relation to the management of aircraft-related noise.”
Minister Ross said the new report into the issue has predicted “an explosion of passengers through Dublin airport by 2050, to over 50 or 60 million people”.
Minister Ross said a “dramatic expansion of the airport would be needed to accommodate them.”
He said at this point he “has no idea of the logical place for the terminal” but “today’s report suggests at least three alternatives to the North East, North West and West” of the airport.
Fianna Fáil accused the Minister of ignoring the pressing issue at Dublin Airport – the need for work to commence on a second runway.
Transport, Tourism and Sport Spokesperson Robert Troy said: “The talk of a third terminal at Dublin Airport does absolutely nothing to address capacity issues. The last Fine Gael-led government launched a national aviation policy in 2015 and at no point in it was a need for a third terminal.
“How could we seriously approach the notion of developing a third terminal when the airport doesn’t have enough tarmac to facilitate the current demand for flights.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune questioned whether the terminal would come at the expense of Cork and Shannon, and said: “A third terminal at Dublin Airport by 2030 was not mentioned in Project 2040 or was it part of the published Aviation Strategy, which begs the question – where do these strategies stand now.”
She said: “We cannot allow Cork and Shannon Airports to be forgotten about. It is great to see Dublin Airport doing so well but there is more to Ireland than Dublin Airport and we have excellent airports at Cork and Shannon that need the attention of the Government in order for them to thrive.”