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Airport ruling saves us from parking chaos

PARKING chaos has been averted at Dublin Airport after approval was granted for one of the hub's long-term facilities.

An Bord Pleanala granted the airport permission for the continuing use of the 'blue' car park at Harristown, catering for up to 8,930 cars.

The 60-acre facility was constructed over several phases based on two temporary planning permissions, one of which expired in June.

However, the planning board's ruling has ensured airline passengers can go on parking there.

Fingal County Council had supported the application, saying the continued operation of the airport is one of its key objectives.

A central component of the airport's services is the safe and efficient transfer of passengers to and from the airport by a variety of means, including private car, the council said.

In addition, neither the National Transport Authority nor the National Roads Authority had any objection to the application.

The Bord Pleanala inspector who assessed the plan said: "Normally a car park of this scale would give rise to serious concerns in relation to traffic generation and congestion on the surrounding road network and road junctions.

"However, having regard to the long term use of the car park by airport passengers the trips generated are measured in terms of days and not hours."

She recommended that planning approval be granted, but attached several conditions.

Among them was a stipulation that an automatic system for counting traffic be installed, along with a facility for the charging of electric cars.

Dublin Airport charges its customers a maximum of €7.50 a day to leave vehicles in the 'blue' facility, and up to €9.50 a day for the 'red' car park.

Discounts can be obtained by booking online.

The rates are substantially less than the €40-a-day charged for short-term parking.

The airport also has an executive lot, located on the ground floor of the short term B car park.

It features a dedicated entrance and exit with licence plate recognition allowing for greater convenience.

However, passengers have to dig deep for the privilege, with annual permits available at a rate of €4,000.