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€1m bill for new flight screens at airport terminals

DUBLIN Airport is planning to splash out up to €1m on hundreds of new flight information screens to replace ones which are now "utterly unserviceable".

The upgrade will take place throughout the airports at Cork and Shannon as well as Dublin.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) believes that the screens in place now are not sufficient to communicate to passengers and staff so a complete revamp is planned throughout four terminals.



CYCLE

The DAA estimates that it will cost them between €500,000 and €1m.

A representative claimed that the decision to make the change was a standard move.

"Currently the old FIDS (Flight Information Display Screens) are coming to the end of their natural life cycle," he said.

"They are approximately nine years old so we need to start replacing them as they are utterly unserviceable at this stage.

"We are looking to replace over 500 of the old screens at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports and it is intended that this will be done on a phased basis."

He said that the price was "a very rough guide -- to cover cost of the screens, maintenance and a multi-framework agreement over a five-six year period".

"The price could come in under €500,000 or between that and €1m, it's a very rough guide for prospective suppliers," the spokesman added.

The authority has come under severe criticism of late for dishing out 'over-generous' bonuses.

This comes despite tumbling passenger numbers at all three airports, two credit rating downgrades of the company's €1.2bn debt, criticism of the new T2 terminal at Dublin and a 9pc fall in shop sales.

Declan Collier, the chief of the authority, had to give up his controversial €106,000 bonus when he came under Government pressure.

Just a few weeks ago it was revealed that Mr Collier clashed with economist Colm McCarthy, who suggested the privatisation of the semi-State company.



BAGGAGE

Mr Collier pointed out that only 2pc of the world's airports were managed or owned by the private sector.

In addition to the upgrade of the information screens, the DAA also needs to upgrade their X-ray equipment at the four terminals.

But the DAA said that these particular screens, in the baggage collection areas, needed to be updated for security requirements.

The standard certified hold baggage screening, explosive detection systems and X-ray equipment will expire in September 2012.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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