‘No plans to introduce drop-off charges’ at Dublin Airport despite planning victory

An Bord Pleanála upholds local authority’s decision to grant permission to new tolling zones

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said it has “no plans” to introduce tolled drop-off or pickup charges despite being given the green light to do so by An Bord Pleanála (ABP).

In 2021, Fingal County Council granted the airport operator permission to make the necessary road and infrastructure changes to introduce a new tolling system for motorists picking up or dropping off passengers at terminals 1 and 2.

Among other things, DAA had applied for permission for the “reconfiguration” of two existing exit lanes from both terminals as well as four new exit lanes and “all associated works including pay cabinets, staff control reader, control barrier, flexi bollards” and other additions. The works would also include the “closure of the existing access/egress into the existing Terminal 2 short-term surface car park”.

The council’s decision to grant permission was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála by independent councillor Joe Newman, who said there was no operational need for the new facilities. He had argued in an observation to local planners that proposals were “a money-grabbing project” that “does little to make ingress and egress more convenient for passengers”.


ABP has upheld the local authority’s decision to grant permission for the alterations, subject to a number of conditions.

In its ruling, the board said the plans “would not adversely affect the residential amenity” and “would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian, cycle and traffic safety”, provided the conditions are adhered to.

Among other things, ABP ruled DAA can use some of the proposed car park infrastructure for a temporary period of five years to facilitate the planned development of the proposed MetroLink system.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, a spokesman for DAA said: “Dublin Airport has no current plans to introduce drop-off or pickup charges.”

The airport operator had previously said that commercial funds raised by the new system “will be ring-fenced for sustainability initiatives at the airport, including a proposed solar farm, the conversion of our car park and staff shuttle bus fleet from diesel to low-emission vehicles and the installation of more electric vehicle charging points”.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times