Dublin Airport operator, DAA, has announced plans to introduce a discount on runway charges for airlines that operate the quietest and most environmentally friendly aircraft. The move is aimed at incentivising the uptake of greener planes. Under the current charges system, Dublin Airport’s runway movement charges come to €6.90 per tonne up to 175 tonnes and an additional €1.95 for every tonne after during the summer time. During the winter time, airlines are charged €2.50 per tonne. The DAA is proposing a 25% discount on runway charges for airlines that operate the most environmentally friendly aircraft at all times of the day. It is also proposing to charge those who fly high emissions aircraft more. This new system is expected to go live within the next six months. A consultation with airlines is due to commence shortly on the next phase of the DAA’s environmental charging strategy.
The DAA introduced the first phase of its environmental charging strategy last year and already applies higher charges for noisier aircraft that operate at night. The DAA said that airlines operating at Dublin Airport are “projected to achieve discounts on published aeronautical charges in excess of €30 million this year”. “Airlines with aircraft based at Dublin Airport, such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus, reap the largest share of these incentives.”
Kenny Jacobs, chief executive of the DAA, said that they are “fully committed” to achieving their environmental targets of a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. “We are fully committed to delivering on these targets while in parallel working alongside aviation stakeholders and our airline partners to support the sector’s transition to a more sustainable model for the future,” he said.
Airlines such as Ryanair have already started to move towards aircraft that burn less fuel and are less noisy. The company is investing $22bn in 210 new Boeing 737-8200 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft which burn 16% less fuel and produce 40% less noise than previous models. Earlier this month, Ryanair placed a massive order with Boeing for a further 300 new Boeing 737-MAX 10 aircraft which burn 20% less fuel and are 50% quieter than its Boeing 737-Next Generation Fleet.
The move by the DAA has been welcomed by climate campaigners who have long called for greater action to reduce aviation emissions. However, some have criticised the move as not going far enough, arguing that a more radical overhaul of the aviation industry is needed to tackle the climate crisis. Nonetheless, the move is a step in the right direction and could encourage other airports to follow suit.