Dublin Airport taking off with a €20m expansion
Largest investment since T2
The country's busiest airport is investing €20m on new aircraft taxiing lanes and parking stands to cater for a surge in passenger numbers.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is investing €20m in the new facilities which will cover 67,500 square metres at its Collinstown campus - the same as 15 football pitches.
It comes after five airlines announced they would begin offering services from Dublin this year, including Ethiopian Airlines, Vueling, WOW Air, Transavia and Finnair, which is returning to the market.
Some 10 extra aircraft parking stands are required due to "significant growth" in traffic over the past three years. Three taxiing lanes are also under construction.
The airport was among the first victims of the economic crisis, with numbers plummeting from a high of 23.4 million at the peak of 2008 to 18.4m just two years later.
However, they stand at 21.7 million for 2014, up 8pc year-on-year.
"This is a major construction project, which will create 10 extra aircraft parking stands and help the airport expand further over the medium term," Managing Director Vincent Harrison said.
"The €20m project is located to the northern end of the airfield, and is the largest single capital investment at Dublin Airport since the opening of Terminal 2 in 2010."
The airport can currently handle up to 35 million passengers per year in both terminals. It has some 100 parking stands at present, which will increase to 110.
Around 100 aircraft arrive and depart in the busy morning peak between 6am and 8am.
"At the busy peak times, it allows operations to be more efficient, particularly in the morning," a spokeswoman said.
"It gives us more capacity, and will help airlines with regard to moving around the airfield more efficiently and faster. It's to ensure the airfield doesn't get congested."
The new apron area being developed covers about 67,500 square metres, equivalent in size to 15 football pitches or big enough to park 900 cars.
The construction work is being carried out by Clare Civil Engineering, which will have up to 30 construction staff on site at any one time.
It is due to be completed by April next year.
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