Option of third terminal at Dublin Airport to be examined

Shane Ross says review of capacity will consider privately-operated terminal

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times

 

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said.

Speaking at a civil aviation conference in Dublin on Monday he said: “Is a State monopoly at Irish airports in the interest of the users, the taxpayer or the travelling public? I think I know the answer.”

The Minister said a forthcoming review which will examine the longer-term capacity needs of the three State airports “will include an option for a third, independent terminal at Dublin airport”.

He said the review would get underway within weeks.

Meanwhile, DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said the idea of an independent terminal was a theoretical model, which was costly and inflexible. He said it had been tried and had failed, and had been reversed in two major airports in Europe and North America.

Mr Toland, who was speaking in a subsequent panel discussion at the aviation conference, said the delivery of the second new runway and other infrastructure to support growth at Dublin airport should be a priority as a third terminal was a long way down the line.

Parallel runway

Mr Ross welcomed the decision by the DAA to proceed with the development of a second parallel runway at Dublin airport.

He said the demand for air travel was forecast to double over the next 20 years.

“With that growth, there should be opportunities for airlines, new routes and services as well as in aviation recruitment and software development for the industry.”

The Minister said Brexit “was the most significant development, with likely negative impacts on the liberalisation of the air transport market”.

“The only solution for Ireland is that the market should remain fully liberalised and deregulated, and that existing traffic rights should be preserved.”

He stated that an ambitious policy such as Ireland’s national aviation policy did not exist in isolation.

“It must be supported by other Government policies and actions – such as our framework policies for training and skills, enterprise development, job creation and regional development – if its full potential is to be realised.”

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