DAA submits plans for dedicated plane-spotting facility

New facility will be located on the site of an informal viewing area on the Old Airport Road

Plane-spotters at Dublin Airport may soon be able to conduct their activities from a dedicated viewing facility after the airport’s operating company submitted a planning application for a new observation area.

The new facility will be located on the site of an informal viewing area on the Old Airport Road, owned by DAA and known locally as “the Mound”.

The airport company said the new facility will provide a comfortable and safe space for the plane-spotter community, with a clear view of the south runway and the crosswind runway. In its application to Fingal County Council, DAA set out plans for a car park with 22 spaces, bike parking and an elevated covered platform with seating.

“This location has been an informal ‘plane-spotting’ area over the past 40 years and we think it’s time to put a more formal facility in place,” said Gary McLean, managing director of Dublin Airport.

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“It’s a rite of passage for kids in Dublin to be taken to ‘the Mound’ to watch the planes landing and taking off at the airport. This new facility would make it safer and more enjoyable for users and we think it’s a facility that the local community will enjoy.”

In its planning application, the State-owned company said: “The proposed development represents a considerable planning gain for the local community and aviation enthusiasts alike. It represents a significant investment in modern fit-for-purpose observation facilities and a considerable improvement on what exists currently. In our view, there is a clear benefit to progressing with the existing design, acknowledging that this has been achieved by providing energy-efficient light fixtures powered using green energy generated on-site using solar PV panels.”

In response to questions from The Irish Times, a spokesman for the company said it has no plans to commercialise the facility or charge an entrance fee. DAA will bear the cost of its construction, the spokesman said.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times