Friday 24 November 2017

Two months to bring security measures in line with European rules at Dublin Airport

Ed Carty

DUBLIN airport has warned it will take two months to bring its security measures into line with new European rules.

The transport hub failed an audit after being handpicked to test new screening regimes for passengers travelling on to further destinations.

Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister, said he takes the concerns raised very seriously.

"These additional procedures are not expected to have any significant impact on passengers at Dublin airport unless they are transferring through another EU airport en route to their final destination, in which case they will be required to undergo screening again," he said.

"This does not impact on other airports in the state."

Both the minister and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) refused to explain in detail the lapses identified during the European audit on security grounds.

About 8pc-10pc of passengers using Dublin airport are to be affected by new security measures.

It is believed the stricter rules could see passengers leaving Dublin being rescreened for security clearance as they pass through a second airport on their way to a final destination.

Dublin was the first airport tested for compliance by European security chiefs. Cork and Shannon were not affected.

In a statement, the DAA said it will take about two months to address one of the security issues due to its technical nature.

A spokeswoman for the airport insisted that passengers initially flying out of Dublin would not be affected by the change and that it will not add to waiting times at security screening for these travellers and their luggage.

"Passengers transferring through other European airports may be required to undergo further security screening," the DAA said.

Mr Varadkar said he has taken steps to ensure that any deficiencies are rectified swiftly, including visiting officials in the airport yesterday.

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: "As a new minister Leo Varadkar has promised to deliver 'change and reform', yet today's embarrassing security failure means that Irish passengers will once again be treated as second-class citizens and/or potential terrorists every time they land at other EU airports.

"This is a totally unacceptable, and yet avoidable, failure."

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus said that while the airline is concerned at the potential inconvenience these issues may cause to our customers, our initial assessment is that such inconvenience can be minimised and we will work closely with the relevant authorities to achieve this.

"In the meantime, Aer Lingus customers are advised that there are no changes to check-in procedures, check-in timings, baggage allowances or any other aspects of our service for Aer Lingus customers departing Dublin Airport," she said.

"Customers will be advised of updates, if any emerge, via our website, email, in print and broadcast media."

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