Friday 26 October 2018
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, T.D., has today published the Review of the Capacity Needs for Ireland’s State Airports.
Commenting on today’s publication, Minister Ross said he was acutely aware of the dependence of the national economy on Ireland’s airports, particularly Dublin Airport, and that it is critical to get strategic development decisions right.
“I want to ensure that there is an open approach to the policy options for expansion of Dublin Airport and specifically an examination of the merit of introducing competition in the provision of terminal services. The Report confirms that this is a possible option. I will now seek to establish the views of key stakeholders before considering the matter further and deciding a way forward.
Airports are vital to Ireland; aviation supports Ireland’s trading relationships and provides significant employment. Tourism, Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, relies heavily on air travel. Irish airports, and Dublin Airport in particular, have experienced a strong return to growth in recent years and this growth is expected to continue. In order to ensure that the airports are prepared for the longer term, this review looks to the future needs of the three State Airports to 2050.”
The Review looks at existing/planned airport capacity and identifies priorities and recommends timeframes for new or adjusted infrastructure development to pre-empt any capacity constraints at the airports in Cork and Shannon as well as Dublin.
Specifically, the terms of reference for the review stated that it should take account of the policy objectives of supporting the roles of Cork and Shannon Airports as key tourism and business gateways for their regions as well as developing Dublin Airport as a secondary hub. The review also took into account wider government objectives and policies for enterprise, tourism and balanced regional development in Ireland and developments in the global aviation market. This is in line with the National Aviation Policy which recognises the roles that the State airports play in underpinning our economic wellbeing.
The Minister is inviting the views of all interested parties on the findings of the Review through a public consultation process which will take place between now and the end of the year. Minister Ross has undertaken to consider all submissions, before reverting to Government in early 2019 with recommendations on the future development of Dublin Airport.
The Review concludes that how passengers get to and from Dublin Airport in the future will be critical to any decision on terminal development. In light of this, steps are now being taken to ensure that collaboration and consultation on this issue takes place among relevant stakeholders as a matter of urgency. The Review also raises the issue of the cross-wind runway at Dublin Airport, currently used when weather and wind conditions require it. The Minister has asked that experts now look in detail at the future of this runway, as its location on the airfield will also have a bearing on where any future terminal development can take place.
The smaller regional airports in Donegal, Knock, Kerry and Waterford are dealt with separately under the Regional Airports Programme 2015-2019. This Programme provides targeted Exchequer support in the areas of safety and security at those airports through a number of schemes covering capital and operational expenditure.
Note to Editors: The high-level strategic capacity review was carried out by Oxford Economics and Cambridge Economics Policy Associates (CEPA) . Report available on website, link