Residents near Dublin Airport’s North Runway fear ‘absolute nightmare’ during busy summer

North Dublin resident Niamh Maher fears a rise in noise levels during the busy summer period at Dublin Airport

Amy Donohoe

Residents near Dublin Airport’s North Runway fear the summer months are going to be an “absolute nightmare” due to constant noise.

Dr Niamh Maher, who lives in St Margaret’s with her husband and two young children, has been dealing with increased noise levels since the new runway opened last year.

The runway started operating on August 24, 2022 in a “teething phase”, before changes were made to flight paths on February 23 this year after complaints from local residents.

Niamh said the stress from the increased noise has impacted her health. Her daughter, who is just 4, has been asking can she move house and schools because of it.

Despite the agreed changes to flight paths in February, Niamh says “nothing has changed” for them.

“Everything that happened in February, it hasn’t made any difference to us,” she said.

New flight paths from the North Runway came into effect from February 23

“Planes are flying on this new 30-degree diversion but not all planes will follow that, so we’re getting it all over. It’s not better, it’s worse.

“Summer is the busiest time of year for the airport. It’s going to be an absolute nightmare. There’s no sign of any resolution any time soon.

“As the weather is getting better, you’re outside more, especially if you have kids. You’re not going to hide in your house, but when things kick off, the planes go over, it’s worse,” she added.

Niamh and her husband looked into the situation before moving into the area, but they didn’t expect it to be this bad.

“We want daa to play by the rules, we want them to do what they were meant to do in their planning because people have planned their lives over the last 15 years and they can’t turn around and say no. It’s unjust. They’re not respecting the community,” she said.

“The enforcement with Fingal County Council is going backwards and forwards. It’s going to take a lot of time and people are suffering. Things are moving forward very slowly,” she added.

Fingal County Council confirmed the planning authority is carrying out an investigation into “alleged non-compliance with planning permission”.

“As part of its continuing investigation, further information was sought on March 31, 2023. The further information included a number of separate technical elements,” the council said in a statement.

Dublin Airport. Stock image

“Following a request from daa, it was agreed that certain information would be submitted on or before May 2, and the remaining elements submitted not later than May 29.

“The first agreed set of information was submitted on April 28 and is being assessed as part of the ongoing investigation.”

A spokesperson for daa said: “In total, over 200 local houses are eligible for insulation measures under Dublin Airport’s residential insulation programmes, and works have been completed at 150 as part of the first phases of installation.

“A number of residents who did not participate in the voluntary Residential Noise Insulation Scheme at that time have been offered insulation works again, along with seven additional dwellings which have become eligible as a result of updated contours arising from a review of actual and forecasted operations in 2023.”