The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) plans to invest €435m - or, well over €1m per day - during 2008 on its Transformation Programme for Dublin Airport, according to DAA Chairman, Gary McGann.
Speaking before An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D., officially opened the Airport's new Pier D boarding gate facility, Mr McGann said the DAA was well on its way to expanding, improving and modernising Dublin Airport for passengers and other customers.
"Pier D has just opened - on time and on budget - and customers can now look forward to a similar quality airport travel experience - though on a greater scale - when the new passenger terminal and related facilities come on stream in just two-and-a-half years' time" - he said.
Construction of the new terminal (T2) began on Oct 1 and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2009. Following a subsequent intensive commissioning, testing and training period, T2 will open to the travelling public in April 2010. The 75,000sq m terminal and related facilities will cost €610m.
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D., said - "Dublin Airport is the fastest growing major airport in Europe and one of the busiest - with annual passenger numbers having doubled to more than 20 million over the past decade and set to increase to 30 million by the middle of the next decade.
"The huge increase in passenger numbers has, of course, put a great deal of pressure on the facilities at the airport - especially during the very busy summer months. That is why the Dublin Airport Authority is investing €2 billion over the next decade to radically improve the passenger experience here."
Pier D has 12 new boarding gates and 14 aircraft contact stands. Contact stands allow aircraft to board and disembark passengers, directly - without the need for buses.
Six gates are currently operational and the remaining six will become operational in early 2008, when the now-disused temporary prefabricated walkway is removed and the concrete underlay resurfaced. The overall cost of Pier D and the 'Skybridge' was €120m.
The pier has a capacity to handle approximately 10m passengers per year - or an average of over 27,000 arriving and departing passengers per day. The pier will be used principally by short-haul aircraft on routes to and from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.
Pier D is a 250m long, two-storey, segregated building - which means that arriving and departing passengers are kept apart for aviation security purposes/
The curved 'Skybridge' was built to convey passengers from the terminal building to the pier. It is 350m long, 12m wide and has eight moving walkways for arriving and departing passengers. A large glass panel, featuring the image of a famous Irish writer and an extract from one of their works, is located at each of the 12 boarding gates in Pier D.