The Fingal County Council chief executive has confirmed that the local authority would have a say in whether or not two controversial planning conditions on the new runway project at Dublin Airport should be lifted, but only if a brand new planning permission for the project is sought.
The daa is seeking to have two restrictions on night-flying lifted from its current planning permission for the project while the communities most affected by the development in places like Portmarnock, St Margaret's and parts of Swords, are adamant those conditions should remain in place.
In an exclusive interview with the Fingal Independent, the council's chief executive, Paul Reid addressed the issue and began by stating how important Dublin Airport is to the life and economy of Fingal as well as the broader Dublin region and the country as a whole.
He said: 'First of all, Dublin Airport is a huge enabler in terms of the economic growth of the country, of Dublin and of Fingal. It is a huge enabler here in terms of the huge workforce we have employed there and it's a huge asset.
'In our case, we are hugely supportive of facilitating the growth of Dublin Airport. We are however, the planning authority so we will implement the decision of the Board in terms of the new runway. So, we are the planning authority and we are working right now, actively with Dublin Airport on the pre-commencement conditions.'
He said that all 31 conditions on the project are equally important, but he acknowledged that two in particular are the subject of a lot of discussion.
Asked directly if the council would have any role in amending or lifting those two night-flying conditions, the council chief executive said: 'Dublin Airport have said publicly that they have a problem with those two conditions which in essence are about the number of night time flights and the times. In terms of our role in that, it depends which route Dublin Airport takes.'
He added: 'It is on public record back in 2009 I think when Dublin Airport sought from the Board, what would be the route, the Board said they could go through Fingal to amend those two conditions. So ultimately, it depends on which way they approach that and they are getting their own advice on that.'
Asked how those conditions could be amended or lifted by the council as the local planning authority, the chief executive said: 'Basically, they (daa) would seek a new permission.'
He said which route the daa would take was 'not certain' so for now, the council was working on making sure all of the current conditions attached to the project by An Bord Pleanála are implemented and the council's 'primary focus is on facilitating the current permission that they have'.