Dublin Airport operator faces €6m bill to insulate homes from air traffic noise

Spokesman for the operator of Dublin Airport said ‘up to 300 homes could be eligible for the insulation grant’

The operator of Dublin Airport faces a potential bill of €6 million to insulate up to 300 homes from night-time air traffic noise. Fingal County Council made it a condition of easing restrictions on the airport’s new €320 million runway that eligible householders around the airport are to receive a €20,000 grant from airport operator DAA to insulate their homes from night-time air traffic noise.

A spokesman for the operator said on Tuesday that “up to 300 homes could be eligible for the insulation grant”.

The new runway is due to open to commercial air traffic on Wednesday, August 24th. In its decision the local authority amended two planning conditions attached to the 2007 planning permission for the runway. Ahead of the runway becoming operational the airport operator was seeking amendments to the runway’s 2007 planning permission that will allow the 3.1km runway be used between 6am and midnight, and that a noise quota system would be used to dictate the number of night-time flights at the airport. The 2007 planning permission in place curtails flights between 11pm and 7am.

The airport operator has now succeeded on both fronts with the Fingal County Council decision.


As part of its 245-page planner’s report into the case, Fingal County Council concluded that the application “would further safeguard the role of Dublin Airport and the long term amenity of residents in the area”.

A spokesman for DAA said on Tuesday that it welcomed the decision by Fingal County Council to amend and replace two conditions associated with the planning permission for Dublin Airport’s North Runway. He said that the council’s determination “provides for the limited extended use of the new runway at key late-evening and early-morning busy periods, and includes a generous insulation grant scheme for eligible local residential properties”.

“It also provides for the replacement of a night-time aircraft movement cap with a more considered noise management quota system that encourages the use of quieter aircraft, an industry-standard approach for managing aircraft noise at large international airports around the world.

“This will be complemented by further noise mitigation and enhanced monitoring measures. The planning decision helps provide the operational flexibility required by Dublin Airport to enable the regrowth and development of international connectivity at Ireland’s main gateway.”

The spokesman said: “North Runway is a significant milestone for the Irish economy, the local economy, for Dublin Airport and its customers. It will enhance Ireland’s connectivity as a gateway between Europe and North America, and will support the creation of 31,200 new Irish jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2043.″

The lifting of the restrictions will be put on hold if, as expected, the decision is appealed to An Bord Pleanála by north Dublin residents.

The application attracted scores of objections from the north Dublin area. In an objection to the DAA plan the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Dublin West TD Roderic O’Gorman (Green) branded as “unacceptable” the noise levels that local residents will be faced if the planning restrictions are lifted.

However, the airline industry threw its weight in support of the plans, with 15 carriers, including Dublin airport’s two main customers Ryanair and Aer Lingus, offering their support.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times