DAA warns of potential €262m economic hit if runway restrictions not lifted

Dublin Airport operator is seeking removal of limits on night-time flight activity

Maintaining planning restrictions on Dublin Airport’s €320 million North Runway would see the Irish economy losing out on a positive economic impact of €262 million in 2024, according to consultants acting for airport operator DAA.

The claim is contained in a new report by consultants InterVISTAS, which forms part of a large tranche of information lodged by DAA with An Bord Pleanála as part of the operator’s bid to have the two planning restrictions attached to the 2007 planning permission for the runway removed.

The planning conditions specify that the runway will not be used between 11pm and 7am and that night-time operations at the airport not exceed 65 flights on average.

The North Runway opened on August 24th last year and Fingal County Council granted planning permission to have the restrictions lifted two weeks earlier, but they remain in place pending a decision by An Bord Pleanála in the case after 14 separate third-party appeals were lodged against the council decision.


The report by InterVISTAS, which is an updated version of an economic impact report first drawn up in 2021 by the consultants, also states that the economy will lose out on an additional 3,130 jobs in 2024 as a result of the restrictions not being lifted.

A separate report prepared by Mott McDonald Global Aviation contains DAA figures showing that if passenger traffic was to grow in an unconstrained manner at Dublin Airport and no 32 million passenger cap was in place, passenger numbers would reach 39.6 million by the end of 2030 and increase to 46.6 million by the end of 2040.

The planning application concerning the lifting of the North Runway restrictions was first lodged by DAA three years ago, in December 2020.

In a letter to An Bord Pleanála, DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs urged the appeals board to make a decision as soon as possible.

He said: “Maximising the potential of this important piece of strategic infrastructure is now essential.”

Mr Jacobs added: “We appreciate the complex and technical nature of the information provided in this response will take time to assess. However, we respectfully ask that a decision is made as soon as practically possible.”

He said this would allow DAA “to address uncertainty around the ability of Dublin Airport to support the goals outlined in national policy and give confidence to our airlines partners and other regulatory agencies.”

The appeals board is accepting third-party submissions on the new information until December 14th.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times