Capacity Review of Ireland’s State Airports

On 22 September 2016, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport announced a review into the future capacity needs at Ireland’s State Airports.  This review was outlined as an objective to be undertaken in 2019 in the Department’s 2015 National Aviation Policy.  However, given the recent growth in passenger numbers and future projected growth, Minister Ross decided to bring the review forward.  The review concerns the long-term development of Ireland’s State Airports (Dublin, Cork and Shannon) to 2050.

A Request for Tender (RFT) document was published in November 2016 and a preferred bidder has been selected. The review will examine the key elements of airport and airside capacity, namely terminal capacity, apron stands and the runway and taxiway system as well as landside capacity, (particularly the impacts of capacity needs on the wider transport network).  It will also review the long term capacity requirements to meet forecasted passenger throughput at the three State airports to 2050 and identify priorities for infrastructure provision.

In addition, the Review will take account of the wider Government objectives and policies for enterprise, tourism and balanced regional development in Ireland, including the goals and objectives set out in the National Planning Framework, Ireland 2040. 

In the case of Dublin Airport only, the study is expected to recommend the timeframe for the development of new terminal capacity – Terminal 3 – and its appropriate design and optimum location. Tenderers will also be asked to assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of the funding and operation of Terminal 3 by the existing airport operator in comparison to being operated on an independent basis. It is expected that this review will be completed in 2018.