Dublin Airport to pay ‘premium’ for houses affected by noise

Shane Ross says authority willing to pay above market price if people feel need to move

The Dublin Airport Authority intends to build a new runway, planning permission for which it received in 2007, valid for 10 years and with 31 conditions. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Dublin Airport Authority intends to build a new runway, planning permission for which it received in 2007, valid for 10 years and with 31 conditions. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is willing to pay top dollar for the homes of residents who have to move house because of noise disturbance when the new airport runway is built, the Dáil has heard.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross suggested the authority would pay a premium price in the event of such a level of disturbance, from the new north runway.

He told Independents 4 Change TDs Tommy Broughan and Clare Daly that he met the authority’s chief executive Kevin Toland and chairman Pádraig Ó Riordáin last week and asked them what sort of measures they had in mind to deal with noise levels.

They spoke about insulation. And, he said, “they spoke in terms of paying people premium prices for their houses if they were disturbed or had to move”.

Mr Ross added: “By that I understand it is not just the market price they are talking about and I take some sort of encouragement from that.”

The Minister said the discussion was not specific on the issue but he would continue to pursue the authority about it “if people feel the noise is so great they must move”.

The authority intends to build a new runway, planning permission for which it received in 2007, valid for 10 years and with 31 conditions. Proposals to build were halted with the recession but current traffic figures show passenger numbers hit 25 million last year and increasing again this year.

Mr Broughan and Ms Daly raised the concerns of residents about noise levels. Mr Broughan said the airport contributed €6.9 billion to the economy, employing 16,000 people directly.

He had raised concerns of residents about noise on very early take-offs over Clonshaugh, Coolock and Artane “generally when the wind is coming from the east”. He said residents in Offington, the Howth peninsula and Sutton also complained about take-offs from 4.55am.

Mr Broughan was concerned that the insulation scheme implemented in the 1980s was being offered now without any review of whether it was still an appropriate level of insulation. Ms Daly said the current plan was to insulate homes above a certain noise level when World Health Organisation data showed adverse health effects at lower night noise levels.

Mr Broughan noted that the authority was going to fight a planning condition of no night flights. He said Heathrow airport was restricted to 16 flights a night while the DAA spoke of 65 a night. Ms Daly, a former Dublin Airport worker, said “there is no business or connectivity imperative” for early morning flights and the “morning glut” was all about aircraft going out and coming back in time for a second leg.

The Minister said the authority was particularly concerned about planning conditions on flight restrictions between 11pm and 7am, which would result in flights at the peak 6 am-7am time being cut by one third. The authority is conducting a public consultation to explain why it is seeking the changes, he said.