Friday 18 August 2017

Ryanair opposes legal challenges to new runway at Dublin Airport

Ryanair
Ryanair

Aodhan O'Faolain

Ryanair is opposing legal challenges to a new €320m runway at Dublin Airport.

Ryanair wanted to become a party to the actions because its says that any further expansion by the airline in Dublin will be limited without the infrastructure of the new runway.

The actions have been brought by the Friends of the Irish Environment Group and by 22 individual residents - most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret's, Co Dublin, against Fingal County Council's decision of March 7 last to extend a planning permission for development of the new 3,110 metre runway. 

The five year-extension was sought by the Dublin Airport Authority, which is a notice party, because an August 2007 permission for the development is due to expire in August 2017.

The proposed development will be located on 261 hectares in townlands north and north west of the airport terminal building.

At the Commercial Court on Monday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern allowed Ryanair become a notice party to actions has been brought against Fingal County Council and the State, aimed at overturn the planning authorities decision.

In a sworn statement, Ryanair's Director of Operations Adrian Dunne said the airline has significant interest in the construction of the proposed runway and consequently in the outcome of the legal actions.

If built, Ryanair will become the biggest user of the new runway which it considers key and essential to Ryanair's expansion and development. 

Mr Dunne added the project will benefit the State.

It will also reduce taxi times from its aircraft thereby reducing unnecessary fuel burn, lowering carbon emissions and noise associated with increased taxi times all to environmental benefit, he said.

The actions have been brought on grounds including the decision to grant planning permission is not in compliance with various Eu directives such as the Habitats Directive as well as the 2000 Planning and Development Act and is unlawful.

The cases, along with a third related action taken by the St. Margaret's Concerned Residents Group, are all due to be heard in October.

Ryanair clarified to Independent.ie that they are "in favour of the new runway and will support the DAA in its process against local opposition."

However, they said they are "not in favour of the €320m cost, but we support the construction of this runway for the initial €240m cost first proposed."

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