Mediation for taxi dispute
The spokesman said the airport authority had on Wednesday offered to restore 30 of the parking spaces on an interim basis. The taxi drivers’ representatives had appeared to accept this “credible and reasonable” offer, but the drivers had later rejected it.
There were no delays to flights today and no one had missed flights as a result of the dispute, but it was "hugely regrettable" that the drivers had caused such inconvenience to the travelling public, the DAA spokesman added. The authority had extra staff on duty directing passengers to alternative transport.
Jerry Brennan of the National Irish Taxi Association said, however, the 30 spaces were insufficient to deal with the overflow. He said the airport authority had indicated it was going to use the space for staff parking, but it had not provided any alternative for the taxi drivers. They had offered to move to another suitable location, he said.
Airport sources confirmed staff parking was among the possible uses being considered for the spaces taken from the taxi drivers.
Mr Brennan confirmed the drivers wanted to operate a system whereby they were called individually from the holding area rather than fill the ranks outside the two terminal buildings.
The reason for this was that drivers had found they were waiting for lengthy periods outside Terminal 2 when there were no flights or when it was not busy. This meant drivers who had been in the holding queue behind them were picking up fares before them at Terminal 1.
About 1,500 taxi drivers have permits to work from the airport. There are about 390 parking slots available after the 55 were taken away earlier this week, according to the airport authority. The spokesman said the same number of spaces was available as had been available in 2010, despite the fact there were about 300 fewer permit holders now.
Taxi drivers took part in a number of slow-drive protests around the airport today, beeping car horns.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce chief executive Gina Quin said the disruption to taxi services at the airport was "regrettable" and must be resolved immediately.
It had come on one of the busiest weekends of the year in Dublin with the commencement of the tall ships festival and a music festival in Marlay Park.
"The tourism industry has endured a difficult number of years and situations like this are not ideal when we are trying to portray the city in a positive light to overseas visitors," Ms Quin said.