Former Aer Arann boss warns Dublin Airport expansion could make things 'very difficult'

Former Aer Arann Boss Warns Dublin Airport Expansion Could Make Things 'Very Difficult'
28/09/2023 Scenes at Dublin Airport following air traffic issues in the UK. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos
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Olivia Kelleher

Former Aer Arann Islands owner Pádraig Ó Céidigh has warned that expansion plans at Dublin Airport are “not fair on residents” of the surrounding area and that having additional passengers onsite would make getting through the airport ‘very difficult."

Airport operator DAA has applied for planning permission from Fingal County Council to raise the cap on 32 million passengers a year to 40 million. The cap has been in place since 2008.


Last month Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the cap on passengers at Dublin Airport of 32 million a year should be increased, or else the airport will face losing new airline routes.

Mr Varadkar described the current cap as "rigid." He stressed that the cap creates difficulties in attracting new routes in and out of the capital.

However, Mr Ó Céidigh, who is also a former Independent senator, said having an additional 8 million passengers a year would make travelling through Dublin Airport “very difficult.”

He told the Hard Shoulder on Newstalk radio that it would involve putting an extra 8 million passengers in to this “squeezebox.”


“All you’re going to have is more and more pressure on the existing resources.”

Mr Ó Céidigh also said that regional airports should be allowed to expand instead of putting the emphasis solely on Dublin Airport.

“I don’t think it’s good socioeconomic policy for Dublin or for the country, quite frankly.

“I believe very strongly that Cork Airport, Shannon Airport and Knock Airport should be developed further and there should be diversion of some of the flights and routes to those airports, rather than focusing so much on Dublin.

“It’s not fair to the residents of Dublin [or] to the workers of Dublin.”

However, he said that he was in favour of plans to build a third terminal not owned by the DAA.

“We should have a third terminal and we should have an independent terminal.

“There should be competition for Ryanair, Aer Lingus and any other airline that are using Dublin Airport, so that they don’t have to be stuck in a kind of monopolistic situation [where] they’ve no choice but to go through a DAA terminal.”

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