Wednesday 20 February 2019

DAA plan to axe taxiways set to cut runway cost

Airport body says changes due to new EU standards

dublin airport
dublin airport

Fearghal O'Connor

DAA is seeking key changes to its plans for a new runway at Dublin Airport that could see the cost of the project fall. The airport authority plans to axe nine taxiways from the original plan and remaining taxiways will be cut from a minimum width of 30m to a new minimum of 27m.

It is also planning to change the structural composition of the 7.5m-wide outer shoulders of the 3,110m-long runway, from paved construction to "reinforced grass".

"The design changes mean we will be laying less pavement as part of the project, but it is too early to speculate as to the impact this may have on the overall project cost," said a DAA spokeswoman.

"Our key focus throughout this project is on delivering a new runway that is as cost-efficient as possible in a safe and secure manner."

She said the original cost estimate of €320m was "excellent value when compared to the projected costs of planned new runways in England".

The changes in the new planning permission application "primarily relate to changes in aviation standards/compliance regulations," she said.

The current runway layout - approved in 2007 - was designed based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, she said.

Since then, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been established as the competent authority for aviation standards in Europe and has published amendments to the regulations governing infrastructure design, including those for runways.

These changes have "a direct impact" on the design of the new runway and additional amendments to the taxiway network "have arisen following consultation with airlines".

The contract for construction was awarded to an Irish-Spanish consortium comprising Roadbridge and FCC Construcción in October last year.

Mobilisation works are currently under way and construction of the new runway is scheduled for early 2021.

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