Friday 22 November 2019

DAA begins consultation process for planned €900m investment programme

The programme is designed to enable Dublin Airport to handle 40 million passengers per year

Dublin Airport. Stock image
Dublin Airport. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The DAA has begun a formal consultation process for its planned €900m capital investment programme designed to enable Dublin Airport to handle 40 million passengers a year.

The investment, previously flagged by the DAA, will include infrastructure such as new boarding gates, aircraft parking stands, and other facilities.

It also confirmed that the contract for the construction of the €320m new runway project will be awarded soon. Construction of the new runway is due to commence before the end of the year. The cost of that project includes the infrastructure such as new aircraft taxiways.

The Irish Independent recently revealed that a consortium of Limerick-based construction firm Roadbridge and Spanish group FCC has been named preferred bidder for the contract.

Of the €900m capital expenditure plan, the DAA expects to invest about €400m between 2020 and 2024 to deliver extra capacity at the northern end of the airport, close to Terminal 1. The remainder is earmarked for an investment at the airport’s south apron close to Terminal 2.

Last month, the DAA sought planning permission to undertake work on the Dublin Airport airfield to allow for the construction of aircraft parking stands on the south apron. That will include the relocation of stables used for horses that are being transported by air.

The DAA pointed out that the investments are not funded by the taxpayer.

“These are shovel-ready projects that will address the capacity issues created by eight years of strong passenger growth at Dublin Airport and position us for the future,” said DAA chief executive Dalton Philips.

“This plan has been designed to meet the needs of our airline customers, allowing them to continue to grow their business at Dublin Airport, which will boost tourism, trade and foreign direct investment throughout Ireland,” he added.

He said that Dublin Airport’s charges are between 30pc and 40pc cheaper than those of its peers.

“We are not expecting any increase in charges, despite the very significant investments that we are planning,” he said.

Dublin Airport will handle more than 30 million passengers this year.

The DAA will have a series of meetings and discussions with airport users in the coming weeks, it said, before submitting its final capital plan to the Commission for Aviation Regulator (CAR).

This will inform CAR’s draft determination on airport charges for the 2020-2024 period, which is expected to be published next April.

The Department of Transport today formally published a report prepared for it by Oxford Economics that has suggested Dublin Airport could need a third terminal as early as 2030. The DAA has insisted it doesn’t need another terminal until about 2040.

The DAA said that while the report says that an independently operated new terminal at Dublin Airport is “potentially feasible,” the report also notes that there is “no international precedent for a regulatory/charging model for a fully competing independent terminal [to access existing infrastructure], so there is substantial risk in attempting to make the first implementation”.

“In this context, DAA welcomes the fact that the Oxford report states that ‘the incremental expansion of Terminals 1 and 2 is desirable’ so investment in new capacity should continue,” said the DAA.

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