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Dublin Airport: Everything you need to know if you are travelling this bank holiday weekend


The Dublin Airport Authority is hoping to avoid more long queues this weekend. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Dublin Airport Authority is hoping to avoid more long queues this weekend. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Airport queues

Airport queues


The Dublin Airport Authority is hoping to avoid more long queues this weekend. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

DAA chief Dalton Philips said he does not envisage a repeat of last Sunday this weekend as he stood before the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

An urgent plan by the DAA was requested by ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegard Naughton to ensure that last weekend's scenes – which saw over 1,000 people miss their flights – don't occur again over the coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Here are the main points to take away from today’s committee meeting and the DAA’s new “four-step plan”.

What is the four-step plan?

There are four different sections to the DAA’s new plan that it has put together after last weekend's chaos.

This includes new staffing plan, a new security plan, a new operations plan, and a new communications plan.

The Indo Daily: Keep calm and bring a carry-on — How to beat the chaotic queues at Dublin Airport

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When does this new four-step plan start?

The DAA’s four-point plan is kicking in on Friday for the Bank Holiday weekend.

What time should people arrive at the airport under this plan?

Under this new plan, the DAA’s advice is that passengers should give themselves two and a half hours for a short-haul flight and three and a half hours for a long-haul flight.

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For those checking in a bag, they should add an hour to this.

During busy periods, passengers may only be allowed into the airport if they have arrived during this recommended time and will be asked to provide their boarding pass.

This is so that congestion doesn’t occur from people arriving too early for their flights.

Can passengers arrive earlier than the recommended time?

A new ‘holding area’ will be trialled in the airport over the coming weeks for people who arrive at the airport too early.

The short-term car parks in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, along with the outside queuing areas, will be used as the holding areas for passengers.

It is not in the plan to use holding areas in the car park this weekend, however, the deputy manager of the DAA said it “is available” if they want to trial it this weekend.

Will passengers be queuing outside the terminal buildings like last weekend?

The DAA chief said it is a possibility that people will be queuing outside in the rain this weekend, which the Committee Chairperson Kieran O'Donnell said is "dreadful".

How long will it take for passengers to get through security?

Chief of the DAA, Dalton Philips, told The Oireachtas Transport Committee today that 95pc of people should get through security within 45 minutes this weekend.

He said the remainder should get through security within an hour.

Why were delays so bad last weekend?

Mr Philips admitted that the airport’s plan “failed” last Sunday, due to a shortage of staff.

On Sunday, it was down 37 staff because 17 people, who had not yet completed their training, were incorrectly rostered.

A further 20 security officers were absent, which the DAA said was unprecedented as this number would usually be four or five on a given day.

The DAA chief said the “anomaly” of the rostering system, which incorrectly said 17 security staff were finished their training and were working on Sunday, has been fixed and it will not occur again.

How are queues going to be shorter this weekend in comparison to last weekend?

Although this coming Friday will see “very similar numbers” to those of last weekend, the committee was told that the DAA is confident there will not be a repeat of last week’s chaos.

However, the authority said today that the airport will be “10pc more productive” because there will be more than 40 additional security staff.

Some of the additional security staff are being secured from Cork Airport.

Mr Philips also said special consideration will be given to passengers who require additional assistance, such as passengers with autism.

"We are confident, we have a robust plan, and we don’t envisage a repeat of what occurred last Sunday,” he added.

“Though challenges remain, the measures we have taken will very substantially mitigate risk this weekend and beyond.”

How long will the airport be working with less security staff than needed?

By the end of June, the DAA chief said the 535 security staff working in Terminal 1 and 2 will be increased to 702.

“We are 60 security officers behind where we need to be,” Mr Philips said. “We will have 40 more officers this weekend, we will have brought staff up from Cork.”

He added that 450 staff, who don’t work in frontline positions, are available to help out with things like managing queues- however, security screening is a skilled position that requires training, so not anyone can do it.

The DAA chief said the Defence Forces cannot assist with screening, as they are not certified to do so.

"The deployment of state services is absolutely outside of our remit," he said.

"An Garda Sicohana are on our premises. The army would not be certified to run screening.

"The army is not aviation security cleared; they cannot work in an airside environment.

"They could assist in other roles but not in aviation security."

Is there any chance passengers will miss their flight this weekend? Even if they arrive within the recommended time?

The DAA chief said he is confident that people who heed their advice will not miss their flights.

“If passengers heed the two and a half hours I am confident with our plans, we are in a very difficult situation,” he said.

"We want people to safely catch their flights.

"The experience at the moment is not what we would like it to be, we would like it to be much better.

“I am giving them a high level of confidence.”

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