Saturday 22 July 2017

Airport runway rules could cost 17,000 jobs, DAA claims

DAA spokesman Paul O’Kane at the Brexit conference. Photo: Paul Sherwood
DAA spokesman Paul O’Kane at the Brexit conference. Photo: Paul Sherwood
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Planning restrictions imposed on the proposed new third runway at Dublin Airport would result in more than 17,000 fewer jobs being created in the economy, the DAA has claimed.

The two conditions currently attached to the existing planning permission for the planned parallel runway include one that would prohibit its use between 11pm and 7am - a period that includes the airport's busy morning operations.

The second condition would cap the total number of flights at the airport between 11pm and 7am to 65. The airport currently handles 100 flights during that time.

Paul O'Kane, DAA chief communications officer, told a conference yesterday that the airport is employing a twin-track approach that includes pressing ahead with the development of the runway, while trying to have the restrictions overturned.

"The impact of the proposed operating restrictions would mean the loss of 17,400 jobs that would have otherwise been created by the new runway by 2037," Mr O'Kane said.

"That's more jobs than the current combined employment of Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Dell in the Republic."

DAA CEO Kevin Toland has previously warned that the airport's passenger numbers would immediately slump by three million if the runway opened with the two onerous planning conditions still in place.

Mr O'Kane said the 17,000 figure was based on an economic impact study carried out by consultants InterVISTAS. The figure comprises 3,000 direct, 1,800 indirect, 2,300 induced jobs - the spend in the economy by employees - and 10,300 related to connectivity in tourism.

Dublin Airport handled just under a record 28 million passengers last year, and is one of the fastest-growing large airports in Europe. Last year, it revived plans for a third runway to cope with anticipated increases in passenger traffic in coming years.

Mr O'Kane was speaking at a Brexit conference organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, and flagged concerns over the survival of the joint Ireland/UK visa system for Chinese travellers here in the context of the UK's EU withdrawal.

Eoghan O'Mara Walsh, of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, earlier told the conference that the full-year loss to the tourist industry would be €100m because visitors from the UK are spending around a fifth less.

Brian Kavanagh of Horse Racing Ireland said equine representatives from Ireland, France and the UK have jointly lobbied Phil Hogan on the issue and how it will damage the industry, and plan to meet chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Irish Independent

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