Dublin Airport nears 32m passenger cap after busy November

Gateway poised to reach planning permission limit this year

More than 29 million passengers have passed through Dublin Airport so far this year, bringing it close to the 32 million limit imposed by planners.

Ireland’s biggest airport is already turning away potential new business for next year as it expects 2023 passenger numbers to reach the 32 million maximum demanded by planners when they granted permission for an expansion of the airport.

State company DAA said on Monday that almost 2.2 million people passed through there last month, while it also attracted 102,000 transfer and transit passengers.

It is understood that this has brought to 29.2 million the total that travelled through the airport’s doors so far this year, while another 1.9 million passengers, transferred between European and North American flights.


Transfer passengers are “double counted”, when they arrive from their destination and then when they depart, so the airport’s final tally will adjust for this.

DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs predicted that Dublin’s growth would stall “in both 2024 and 2025″ while Fingal County Council deals with an application from the company that would allow the airport grow beyond 32 million.

The company will submit that application in the middle of this month, according to its chief executive.

Mr Jacobs recently told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport that Dublin would comply with the passenger cap while it seeks to have it increased to 40 million.

The company told An Bord Pleanála that the cap would cost the Republic €262 million in lost business next year.

Figures published on Monday confirmed that Cork Airport is on course for its busiest year with 2.75 million people likely to have flown in and out of there by December 31st.

The airport handled 191,000 passengers last month, 14 per cent more than during November 2022, according to DAA, which operates both Dublin and Cork airports.

November 5th, the last day of schools’ midterm, was the busiest day at both airports, with 98,000 passing through Dublin and almost 10,000 travelling in or out of Cork.

“The significant growth of passenger numbers at Cork Airport is due to the increasing number of destinations at the busiest airport serving the south of Ireland,” Mr Jacobs said.

He predicted a busy December at both airports as they welcomed millions of passengers home for Christmas.

Meanwhile, Knock airport has begun using new security screening technology that eliminates the need for passengers to remove liquids or laptops from their bags. Ireland West Airport – as it is formally known – installed the new cabin bag screening system over the past two weeks.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

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