Competition watchdog extends review of DAA deal to buy car park near airport

Plan to purchase closed car park in Santry had been intended to increase Dublin Airport parking spaces

The State’s competition watchdog has decided to carry out a more in-depth examination of a plan by the operator of Dublin Airport to buy a nearby car park, in an attempt to provide more parking spaces for departing passengers.

DAA, which operates the airport, previously warned passengers due to fly out during the start of the busy summer holiday period in late May and early June that the airport car parks were fully booked.

It said the number of available car parking spots had been impacted by the closure of a privately-run Quick Park facility near the airport, which resulted in the loss of some 6,200 parking spaces. The closure of the car park resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in the amount of parking near the airport, leading to high demand for the airport’s own 23,000 spaces.

In an effort to provide more capacity, DAA made a successful offer to purchase the closed car park in Santry. However, the deal was subject to approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), which over recent months has been assessing whether the transaction might reduce competition.


The watchdog announced on Wednesday that it has decided to escalate its assessment and would be carrying out a more in-depth investigation.

The CCPC said it was notified of the proposed purchase in March of this year. Following its initial examination it was decided that a more detailed examination of the proposed sale was required before it could give it the green light.

In a statement, the CCPC said the investigation will examine whether DAA buying the nearby car park “will or will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the State”.

“As with all notified mergers and acquisitions, the CCPC is working to complete its investigation in a timely manner and within the statutory deadlines,” the statement added.

The watchdog is required to issue a decision within 120 working days, meaning that if the process is not delayed by further requests for information it will rule on whether the proposed sale can proceed by December 15th.

In a statement, DAA said it noted the decision by the CCPC to move to a second stage investigation.

“Our 23,000 car parking spaces are fully optimised this summer to cater for passengers over the coming weeks and months. Demand for parking at Dublin Airport remains very high, with limited spaces available,” it said.

DAA advised those without bookings to travel to the airport by public transport, taxi or to get a lift.

Residents living in housing estates near the airport have complained over the summer about their neighbourhoods being used by people travelling out of Dublin Airport to park their cars.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times