DAA wants passenger cap at Dublin Airport raised to 35m
The DAA has formally asked the local council to raise the annual cap on passenger traffic at Dublin Airport to 35 million from 32 million.
It follows a recent request by the DAA that transfer passengers not be included in the total tally at the gateway, as it seeks to prevent breaching the existing cap.
The DAA has noted that raising the cap to 35 million passengers would supersede a condition imposed when planning permission was secured in 2006 for the construction of Terminal 2, and also a condition that was imposed in relation to an extension at Terminal 1.
Dublin Airport needs the cap lifted as it is in danger of breaching it.
Last year, the airport handled 31.5 million passengers. With traffic so far this year growing by about 6pc, it means the 32 million level will be exceeded for 2019.
The DAA has also recently asked Fingal County Council to exclude transfer passengers from Dublin Airport's overall passenger tally.
That would help the airport to avoid breaching the 32 million passenger cap in the short term.
Last year, the airport handled 1.9 million transfer passengers, who flew in and out of Dublin only for connecting flights.
The DAA wants a determination that as long as transfer passengers use a dedicated transfer facility, rather than either terminal specifically, they should be excluded from the overall passenger counts.
The 32 million annual passenger cap was imposed with regard to likely pressure on local infrastructure such as roads. That network has since improved, while a higher percentage of passengers now use public transport than cars to access the airport. Transfer passengers do not use any of the local infrastructure.
Of the 31.5 million passengers that passed through Dublin Airport last year, 29.4 million were processed through its two terminals.
The 1.9 million transfer passengers actually equated to about 900,000 people. They are counted as a passenger both on arrival and departure.
An additional 300,000 passengers transited through the airport, remaining on their aircraft while it made a technical stop in Dublin.
Dublin Airport has one of the highest levels of connectivity to North America of any airport in Europe.
That is due in significant part to the expansion of Aer Lingus under the ownership of IAG.