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McEvaddy set to lodge new plans for airport terminal and challenge DAA

 

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Ulick McEvaddy. Photo: Tony Gavin

Ulick McEvaddy. Photo: Tony Gavin

Ulick McEvaddy. Photo: David Conachy

Ulick McEvaddy. Photo: David Conachy

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Ulick McEvaddy. Photo: Tony Gavin

Aviation entrepreneur Ulick McEvaddy is preparing to lodge new plans for a third terminal at Dublin Airport.

The Omega Air founder, who supplies mid-air refuelling services to the US military, has vowed to take a legal challenge if necessary against DAA's plans for expansion.

The semi-state airport authority has a €2bn capital investment plan that McEvaddy claims will push the existing airport campus well past a 32 million passengers per annum cap imposed by planning authorities a decade ago.

McEvaddy told the Sunday Independent he will soon present his own plans for a new terminal on 130 acres he owns west of the airport, close to its main runways, as an alternative to the DAA expansion plan.

"Our architects are right now putting the finishing touches on our plan for Terminal 3 on the western campus at Dublin Airport," said McEvaddy.

"Within a short time period, we will be putting forward our plan as an alternative to the DAA plan for expansion. Ours will be a much more cost- effective option. The land is here and ready to go.

"Instead of DAA spending what is €2bn of state money to handle eight million more passengers, we and our partners will spend €2bn to eventually handle [an extra] 30 million."

McEvaddy is also preparing to seek access for his prospective terminal to existing infrastructure at the airport, including runways and taxiways.

McEvaddy has battled for years to build an independent passenger terminal on the land. He has now secured the backing of Dubai-based investment fund Tricap for the plan to spend €2bn building a terminal in phases that would ultimately handle 30 million passengers a year.

He previously struck an innovative deal with key trade union officials at Dublin Airport for workers to take an ownership stake in a proposed terminal but that came to nothing after DAA won state backing to develop T2.

"I never give up on something," says McEvaddy. "For 23 years I've tried to build a terminal and I just don't give up. It's as simple as that. And with our partners now we have the right ingredients. We are hopeful our planning application will go in this year."

DAA has a detailed capital expenditure programme to invest €2bn to allow the airport handle 40 million passengers per annum. But a proposal by the aviation regulator to slash passenger charges has raised doubts about the viability of that plan.

Sunday Indo Business