Should Dubin Airport be clearing the way for Terminal 3?

Consultants raise possibility of second airport but there is a cheaper option

One could imagine Michael O’Leary going to sleep last night cuddling a copy of Indecon’s report, which suggests forcing Dublin’s two terminals to compete with each other, or building a second airport in the capital. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

One could imagine Michael O’Leary going to sleep last night cuddling a copy of Indecon’s report, which suggests forcing Dublin’s two terminals to compete with each other, or building a second airport in the capital. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

At 5.37pm yesterday, the Government slipped out a report by Indecon consultants on airport charging that, if fully implemented, would change the current system of regulation beyond all recognition.

The rumour is that certain vested interests in the aviation industry would probably have preferred if this report had not been published at all. The Indecon document deserves full scrutiny.

Economic consultants tend not to use devastating language. Yet it is crystal clear that Indecon believes many aspects of the current regime for regulating airport charges are not fit for purpose, even if it was polite about saying so.

Indecon makes 18 recommendations covering everything from the way ministers poke their noses into the appeals system to the fact that the promotion of competition isn’t even a stated objective of the regulator.

The most eye-catching aspect of the report, however, is not a formal recommendation at all. Rather, it is a suggestion that, in the medium- to-long term, the State consider forcing Dublin’s two terminals to compete with each other, or alternatively building a new airport to compete with the existing one.

One could imagine Michael O’Leary going to sleep last night cuddling a copy of the report.

Building a new airport in Dublin, however, would be horrendously expensive. A third terminal, perhaps privately owned, to compete with the existing facility might be a better option.

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