Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Ryanair in bid to block terminal extension at airport

RYANAIR has objected to a €50m expansion of the existing terminal at Dublin Airport.

The low-cost airline, which has already objected to a second €395m terminal, says the extension will only add shops and restaurants to the airport and is an example of 'haphazard' planning.

The Dublin Airport Authority plans a 7,500 square metre extension which would provide additional space for passengers, 20 check-in desks and additional retail space.

But now the Spring 2008 deadline for the new facility to be open might not be met because of the objections from Ryanair, the Portmarnock Community Association and a resident, Angela Lawton.


Residents claim the extension is 'inconsistent' with EU transport policy guidelines and that it constitutes over-development and over-concentration of airport services in one small area of Dublin.

They also claim it will have a negative impact on residents and cause congestion on the road network.

Ryanair claims it will be used only to add retail and restaurant facilities to Terminal One and will not improve the passenger experience and forms part of a 'haphazard' strategy for the airport.

The airline - which wants an independent terminal for the airport - also claims it will result in funds being unnecessarily spent developing an 'oversized, overly expensive' second terminal which is inconsistent with proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The extension to Terminal One is part of a €2bn capital development programme to transform Dublin Airport over the next 10 years. It also includes the construction of T2, the second terminal, and a new runway.

Both the new terminal and runway have already been appealed, and both were the subject of lengthy public hearings. Residents have also requested that an oral hearing be held into the terminal extension proposal, but a decision has yet to be made on this.

If granted, it could push back the Spring 2008 opening date by some months.

The new triangular-shaped extension is a two-storey building with a mezzanine that will expand the existing terminal at the departures level, the arrivals level and the mezzanine level.

At the departures level, the new extension will provide space for a reconfigured check-in area that will have 20 desks and additional space for passengers.

Beyond the passenger security area, the project will also have a larger circulation area for passengers travelling to Pier A and the new Pier D, currently being built at a cost of €120m.

Paul Melia
Irish Independent

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