Plans for new Dublin Airport runway ready for take-off
Plans for a €300m second runway at Dublin Airport have gained dramatic new impetus following the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.
Over the next five years IAG plan to boost Aer Lingus feeder traffic through Dublin by an extra 2.4m passengers a year.
But even before the IAG bid for Aer Lingus emerged earlier this year the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) had reignited plans for a new runway on the 2,500 acre site at Collinstown.
New research released last week by the respected aviation website anna aero shows that Dublin is the fastest growing airport in Europe for long-haul traffic this year
Now plans for the construction of a second runway, which first emerged more than 30 years ago, look set to be fast tracked.
Planning permission for a new east-west runway, 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway was granted back in 2007 and remains valid for the next two years.
But air industry sources suggest a new planning application may have to be lodged because the original permission contained 31 restrictive conditions including a requirement that no flights operate from the second runway between 11pm and 7am.
The hour between 6am and 7am remains the airport's busiest time and a ban on flights leaving a new second runway before 7am is considered impractical. Passenger numbers travelling through Dublin leapt by 8pc to 21.7 million last year and are already 15pc up on that figure in the first four months of 2015.
A DAA spokespersonal told the Sunday Independent: "We are currently examining the various options regarding the delivery of a second parallel runway at Dublin Airport, but have not yet made a final decision in relation to this issue."
"A second parallel runway has been part of the overall development plan for Dublin Airport for several decades and we're fortunate that land was earmarked for this project many years ago within the overall Dublin Airport campus."
"The various options relating to its development will be carefully considered before the company makes a final decision on the best way forward and a second runway remains a central element of Dublin Airport's long-term plans," the DAA spokesman confirmed
Dublin Airport now has two flights per day to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with Emirates and Etihad both flying twice a day since last year.
Passenger numbers to the Middle East and North Africa doubled between 2011 and 2013.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) has ruled that Dublin Airport will not be allowed to pass on any of the costs associated with the development of a second runway until passenger numbers pass 25 million in a 12 month period.
Between 2010 and 2014, Dublin Airport increased its transatlantic passenger numbers by 42pc with seven new transatlantic services during the same period.
This summer, Dublin Airport will be the sixth largest airport in Europe for services to North America with 318 flights per week (159 weekly departures) between Dublin and 15 separate destinations in the United States and Canada.