Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is set to seek a stay today against an enforcement notice issued by Fingal County Council last week. The notice relates to a planning condition attached to Dublin Airport’s new €320m runway, which opened last year. One condition prohibits the use of the new runway between 11pm and 7am, while another caps the total number of flights at the entire airport during that time period at 65. The enforcement notice was issued to protect residential amenity. The DAA will argue that if an appeal already lodged with An Bord Pleanala can be expedited, the enforcement notice may be irrelevant.
Fingal County Council, through its Aircraft Noise Competent Authority (ANCA), has previously acknowledged that a noise quota is a more appropriate method of assessing the number of flights that should operate at night. This could potentially provide a workaround for the airport and the local authority. However, there is expected to be opposition from residents who claim that their quality of life has been negatively impacted since the opening of the new runway.
According to an official report by ANCA, the number of people living near Dublin Airport exposed to potentially harmful levels of aircraft noise at night has increased by 10% to nearly 1,700 since 2019. The report also revealed that over 21,000 people living on flight paths used by aircraft suffer from high levels of sleep disturbance. The World Health Organisation considers 55 decibels of night-time noise exposure to be a clear risk to health. The DAA is expected to challenge the methodology used by ANCA in calculating the number of individuals affected by aircraft noise.
A spokesperson for the DAA stated that they have noted the findings of the ANCA report but criticized the publication of the report before the DAA’s own feedback deadline of August 25. They added that they will review the contents and conclusions of the report before the deadline.