New air traffic control tower opens at Dublin Airport

The facility, which cost €50m to build, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology

A new air traffic control tower was opened at Dublin Airport on Wednesday by Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton.

The tower will manage the take-off and landing of all aircraft at Dublin Airport and facilitate the operation of the second DAA runway, with the aim of freeing up additional capacity to reduce air traffic delays.

The facility, which cost €50 million to build, is 86.9m (285ft) tall and equipped with state-of-the-art technology to improve energy efficiency. It was completed in 2020 and has undergone comprehensive safety checks to ensure it meets international safety regulations.

The tower includes a control cab, where air traffic controllers have a 360-degree view of Dublin Airport, now required with the second runway. It was designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects and built by BAM Ireland.


The funds were provided by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) from its reserves, as it receives no State funding.

The old air traffic tower, which came into operation in the early 1980s, will now be used as a backup tower and for training new air traffic control personnel.

Speaking at the opening of the new tower on Wednesday, Ms Naughton said it was “a significant piece of national infrastructure, which will support aircraft movement at Dublin Airport, both enhancing safety and connectivity as we recover from the pandemic”.

“The tower is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which will improve energy efficiency while also meeting growing air traffic demand. This investment will have a positive impact for industry and for domestic and international customers in the years ahead,” she said.

IAA chairwoman Rose Hynes said the new tower represents an investment in a modern air safety management service.

“The IAA is playing its part by having this best-in-class infrastructure in advance readiness to efficiently facilitate the extra demand for air traffic control and parallel runway operations at Dublin Airport,” Ms Hynes said.

“The new tower is also an investment in energy efficiency and sustainability. This commitment improves overall air traffic safety as well as the environmental health and quality of life for our colleagues in our workplace.”

IAA chief executive Peter Kearney said the new tower was a strategic national asset and “comes at a time when global air traffic returns to normality”.

“Ireland as an island nation is hugely dependent upon aviation and therefore the safe and efficient management of air traffic growth remains a key driver for our economy. This new Dublin air traffic control tower will facilitate the aircraft movements to deliver over 30 million passengers to and from Ireland in a safe, efficient and sustainable way,” Mr Kearney said.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times