Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has reached out to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar regarding a matter of great concern that could have serious consequences for Dublin Airport. The issue at hand stems from an enforcement order issued by Fingal County Council, alleging a breach of planning conditions related to the new North Runway. DAA was able to secure a temporary stay on the order, which would have resulted in a reduction of night flights. However, DAA disputes the council’s decision and denies any planning breach. In a letter to Varadkar, Basil Geoghegan, Chair of DAA, emphasized the importance of a final decision from An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in order to avoid flight cancellations and to protect the national interest.
DAA has been clear that it is not seeking special treatment but rather urging ABP to expedite the appeal process. The decision by ABP is crucial to resolving the enforcement action and providing a permanent resolution to the matter. DAA, as a commercial semi-state company, is mandated to grow Dublin Airport and safeguard Ireland’s international connectivity in accordance with government policy. Mr. Geoghegan has previously raised these concerns before the Oireachtas in 2018 and 2021. The DAA spokesperson stressed the urgency of the situation and the need for a swift resolution in the national interest.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been approached for comment on the matter. In the meantime, the Aircraft Noise Competent Authority (ANCA) has directed DAA to install permanent noise-measuring systems in community locations around Dublin Airport. Since the opening of the North Runway in August 2022, local residents have expressed concerns about increased noise levels. In response, ANCA issued a directive to DAA to install and maintain these systems in 23 community locations by August 24, 2024. DAA has now made 15 of these noise measuring systems operational, and they can be accessed by the public through Dublin Airport’s Webtrak flight monitoring system.
The 15 locations where the noise measuring systems are currently active include Ashbourne, Balcultry, Bay Lane, Bishopswood, Coast Road in Portmarnock, Donabate, Dunboyne, Feltrim, Malahide Demesne, Roundwood, St. David’s, St. Doolagh’s, St. Margaret’s, Summerhill, and Swords. These systems provide near-live aircraft noise information and are also used to validate noise models used in aircraft noise assessments. The remaining eight noise measuring systems will be installed by DAA within the next 12 months.
It is clear that the issue surrounding the alleged breach of planning conditions related to the new North Runway at Dublin Airport is of great concern to DAA. The company is urging An Bord Pleanála to reach a final decision on the appeal as soon as possible, emphasizing the critical national interest at stake. The resolution of this matter is crucial to avoid flight cancellations and to protect the interests of Dublin Airport, its customers, and the Irish economy.