Delivery giant UPS has urged the Irish Government to replace the measure that limits night flight movements at Dublin Airport, claiming it adversely affects Ireland’s competitiveness. The company has lobbied the Government to replace condition 5 of the north runway, which limits the number of flights across the airfield between 11pm and 7am to 65. UPS wants to “highlight the importance of protecting cargo night flights including how it supports economic growth and keeping Irish businesses competitive in a 24-hour global economy”. Representatives of UPS spoke virtually with Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney’s department earlier this year and called for condition 5 to be replaced with “a noise quota system”.
Dublin Airport and the daa have previously called for condition 5 to be amended, claiming it hits Ireland’s economic recovery post-Covid and post-Brexit. In 2019, the airport was averaging over 100 aircraft movements between 11pm and 7am. The airport proposed that instead of a night flight cap across the airport, the north runway only be used from 6am to midnight, rather than 7am to 11pm. It also suggested a noise quota count system from 11.30pm to 6am.
“We can confirm that we are supporting the airport’s proposals. Discussions are ongoing so we will not be able to speak in more detail,” said a UPS spokesperson.
During its meeting with the Government, UPS also discussed its investment in a healthcare logistics facility in Ireland which is expected to open in Q4. The planned UPS facility in Dublin is anticipated to create 30 jobs initially. Around 80% of pharmaceutical drugs in the EU require cold-chain logistical support and temperature-controlled transportation.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment declined to comment immediately when asked if it is considering replacing condition 5 following its meeting with UPS.
UPS’s call for the replacement of the night flight cap has sparked a debate in Ireland. Supporters of the proposal argue that it will help Ireland maintain its competitiveness in the global economy. Opponents, however, fear that the move will cause noise pollution and have a negative impact on the environment.
The debate comes at a time when the aviation industry is struggling to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of passengers travelling through Dublin Airport fell by 87% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The airport is hoping to attract more airlines and passengers as the pandemic subsides.
Meanwhile, UPS’s planned investment in a healthcare logistics facility in Dublin is expected to boost Ireland’s pharmaceutical industry. The facility will provide cold-chain logistical support and temperature-controlled transportation for pharmaceutical drugs. The facility is expected to create 30 jobs initially, with more jobs likely to be created in the future.
The Irish Government has been keen to attract foreign investment in recent years, particularly in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. The country’s low corporate tax rate and highly skilled workforce have made it an attractive destination for foreign companies looking to expand their operations in Europe. The Government has also been keen to promote Ireland as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The debate over the night flight cap is likely to continue in the coming months as the Government weighs the pros and cons of the proposal. The decision will have significant implications for Ireland’s aviation industry and its competitiveness in the global economy.