Ryanair opposed to IAA control tower plan

Airline says that €50 million structure is not needed

Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) does not need to build a new €50 million air traffic control tower at Dublin Airport, according to Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.

Ryanair supports the airport’s plan to build a second runway but its chief executive said on Tuesday that the IAA does not need to build at new control tower - costing up to €50 million - alongside it.

The IAA, which is responsible for air traffic control, says that the 87m tower overlooking the two runways will be needed to ensure safety.

It said last week that other airports with paralell runways, including Manchester and Istanbul, have similar structures.

However, Mr O’Leary argued that Dublin already has one very large air-traffic control tower. “The IAA’s only argument appears to be that others airports have them,” he said.

He also confirmed that the airline’s management will meet Dublin Airport Authority chief executive Kevin Toland next week to discuss the new runway’s €320 million cost.

This is 30 per cent more than the €250 million figure approved by the Commission for Aviation Regulation in 2014. Mr O’Leary said that the airline was not prepared to support a runway that cost €320 million if the increase stemmed from the DAA “gold plating” the project.

“They are going to explain how this has occured, if its’s reasonable, if it’s something they can’t control, building cost inflation, then we can deal with it,” he said.

Mr O’Leary and the airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, launched the third year of Ryanair’s “always getting better” programme, the turnaround in its approach to customer service begun in 2013.

It includes changes such as offering new services to leisure travellers, improved business service, one-flick payments system and streamlined baggage payments.

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