Third terminal at Dublin Airport faces long wait for take-off

New runway and work on existing airport facilities taking priority over third terminal

About 32 million passengers used the Republic’s airports last year; almost 28 million came and went through Dublin Airport. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

About 32 million passengers used the Republic’s airports last year; almost 28 million came and went through Dublin Airport. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

It looks like a third terminal at Dublin Airport is a lot further down the road than some recent speculation would have you believe. Since November last year, when Minister for Transport Shane Ross said he would get experts to look at the feasibility of getting the private sector to run terminal three, there has been a growing sense that it would happen sooner rather than later.

However, the review Ross proposed was meant to look at likely demand on the Republic’s airports between now and 2050, so it did not follow that terminal three is just around the corner. This week, Kevin Toland, chief executive of DAA, the State company responsible Dublin and Cork airports, said a new terminal was not a priority.

Dublin is already working on a new runway and still faces potential battles with locals over planning conditions and customers such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus over the estimated €320 million cost. That, and work on existing airport facilities designed to ease congestion a specific pinch points, is much more a priority than a facility for which demand has yet to materialise.

Dublin dominance

Ross’s proposal regarding private sector involvement in a third terminal echoed a suggestion in a report last year that this could be one way of tackling Dublin Airport’s dominance. About 32 million passengers used the Republic’s airports last year; almost 28 million came and went through the capital’s gateway.

Dublin had more than 10 times the passengers that passed through the State’s second-biggest airport, Cork, which catered for 2.2 million travellers last year. Putting it another way, Dublin’s growth in 2016 was close to three million passengers (it handled 25 million people in 2015), while Cork’s total traffic was 2.2 million.

It is clear that the capital’s airport is going to be bigger than those serving areas with smaller populations. The question is whether the gap should be as big, and whether it is feasible for the likes of Cork and Shannon to take a bigger slice of the cake.

It would make more sense to tackle those questions now rather than simply deciding that a third terminal for Dublin Airport is an automatic next step for the State’s aviation infrastructure.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.