Ryanair has been joined as a notice party to actions by local residents and others challenging an extension of planning permission for a new €320 million runway at Dublin Airport.
Ryanair sought to be joined over concerns any further expansion by it in Dublin will be limited unless the development proceeds.
The challenges have been brought by Friends of the Irish Environment and by 22 individual residents – most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret’s, Co Dublin – over Fingal County Council’s decision of March 7th last extending a planning permission for development of the new 3,110 metre runway.
The five-year extension was sought by the DAA, the airport authority, because an August 2007 permission for the development was due to expire in August 2017.
The proposed development will be located on 261 hectares in townlands north and northwest of the airport terminal building.
At the Commercial Court on Monday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern joined Ryanair as a notice party to the two actions brought against Fingal County Council and the State, aimed at overturn the planning authorities decision. The DAA is also a notice party.
In a sworn statement, Ryanair's director of operations Adrian Dunne said the airline has significant interest in the construction of the proposed runway and consequently in the outcome of the legal actions.
If constructed, Ryanair will become the biggest user of the new runway which it considers key and essential to Ryanair’s expansion and development, he said.
Mr Dunne said the project will benefit the State and will also reduce taxi times for its aircraft, thereby reducing unnecessary fuel burn, carbon emissions and noise.
The actions have been brought on grounds including the decision to extend the permission is not in compliance with various EU directives such as the Habitats Directive. It is also claimed the decision breaches the 2000 Planning and Development Act and is unlawful.
Those proceedings, and a third related action by the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group, are due to be heard by the Commercial Court in October.