Dublin Airport assesses new plan to build second runway
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers are set to surpass peak levels reached during the boom.
The DAA already has planning permission for a second runway, but Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the semi-State company is currently re-evaluating that. "We believe that due to predicted demand that's now very likely to occur at Dublin Airport, there will be a need for a second parallel runway," said Mr Donohoe.
"The Dublin Airport Authority is now evaluating what their plans will be in that area in the future. I do expect them to be coming forward with proposals in that area soon," he said.
More than 21 million passengers used Dublin Airport last year. That figure is expected to rise by 15pc this year at one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe. In 2008, a record 23.5 million passengers used it. A parallel runway at Dublin could be used at the same time as its current primary runway. Mr Donohoe also ruled out a second airport for the city. "We have in Dublin Airport at the moment an airport that has made huge progress," he said.
"Our national policy is clear, that we will look to support development of Dublin Airport as a European hub airport." Ryanair chief commercial officer David O'Brien said the airline backs an extra runway, "just in the same way as we were supportive of the second terminal".
"But we were supportive the second terminal (to be built) at less than €200m," he added.
"Ryanair supports a second runway provided it's less than €200m, which is what it should cost."
Mr Donohoe also said he is continuing to assess options for a rail link from the airport to the city centre and a decision will be made "soon".
David O'Brien also confirmed that Ryanair has been in discussions with Aer Lingus about the smaller rival taking passengers from Ryanair's UK network.
He said Dublin has more routes to the UK than Heathrow has domestic ones, adding: "Ryanair clearly offers a service with high frequency on many of those routes. So we are a natural partner, I would have thought, for the likes of Aer Lingus or BA in that regard."
Mr O'Brien said the talks with Aer Lingus are "positive" and that the airline, now owned by IAG, is "interested".
"The devil is obviously in the detail," he said.