Monday 29 September 2008

Airport to reapply for permission for runway after appeal rejection

Dublin Airport is to reapply for planning permission for a second runway after An Bord Pleanála rejected its appeal against operating restrictions.

The airport had sought to fast-track its appeal on the basis that the runway constituted strategic infrastructure, but the planning board did not agree and said the planning application should go back to Fingal County Council. The local council had imposed restrictions on the operation of the second runway between 6am and 7am, and 11pm and midnight.

Vincent Wall, director of communications at Dublin Airport Authority, told travel industry professionals at a TravelMedia lunch last week that the airport’s busiest time was between 6amand 7am. He said Aer Lingus and Ryanair, which were responsible for three-quarters of the traffic at the airport, needed to maximise the use of their fleets, as European airports were an hour ahead.

‘‘You have to build a motorway system for the rush hour, not for the middle of the afternoon,” Wall said.

Wall said the airport was now the 14th-busiest in the world and would handle about 24million passengers this year, compared with 11.8 million in 1998. Last month, 2.3 million passengers passed through the airport, which handled up to 93,000 passengers on its busiest days.

Overall, passenger traffic to the end of August was up 4 per cent, with transatlantic traffic up 25 per cent - largely due to the EU’s new Open Skies policy. ‘‘In 2003, no Poles flew direct from Poland to Dublin,” said Wall. ‘‘This year, one million have come.”

Wall also said that new security channels would be introduced for business travellers when Terminal Two opened in spring 2010. Construction of the new terminal began on October 1 last year, and is proceeding on schedule.

The number of security channels in the airport is likely to rise from 18 to 25 with the opening of the new terminal. There will also be dedicated security channels for families, with play areas for children in the new terminal lounge.

Sunday Business Post

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