Dublin AirportThe second runway of was opened and began operations with the departure of Ryanair flight FR1964 to Eindhoven at noon today.
The 1,690 meter track was opened three and a half years after construction began.
The runway will provide additional runway slot capacity for short-haul flights during peak early morning and late evening departure and arrival periods.
The new runway, built at a cost of 320 million euros, is capable of serving long-haul aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A 380-800, and the project involved the construction and installation of 300 000 m² of new runway and taxiways, 6 km of internal airport roads, 7.5 km of electrical cable and more than 2,000 new runway and taxiway lights.
“The opening of the northern runway is an exciting milestone for Dublin Airport and Ireland, with the delivery of this one-of-a-kind vital national infrastructure that positions Ireland for economic growth for many decades to come. “, said Dalton PhillipsCEO of DAA.
“The addition of the North Runway will further enhance Dublin Airport’s role as a vital economic enabler for tourism, trade and foreign direct investment in Ireland.”
Geoghegan Basilchairman of DAA, said the runway underpins Dublin’s position as a hub for travel between Europe and North America, and that the airport authority has a “renewed ambition for the airport of Dublin” after Covid-19.
“We are resolute in our ambition to develop Dublin Airport in a sustainable way and to be a standard bearer for quality service,” he added.
“Following the development of the North Runway, we will proceed apace with our planned capital investment program in a refurbished terminal, new quays, gates, stands and transfer facilities that will ensure compelling service and a lasting legacy for future generations. air travelers in and out of Ireland.
Eddie WilsonCEO of Ryanair, hailed the runway, saying it would increase tourism and reduce airfares at a time of higher oil prices and carbon taxes.
“This combination of new track capacity in Dublin will hopefully allow us to continue to grow in Dublin, in a way that uses less fuel and reduces noise for the benefit of the neighboring community and our millions of passengers,” Wilson added.
FTA Ireland, the lobby group for the freight, passenger and logistics industries, has warned of the challenges the new runway will pose for integrated express freight services.
CEO of the FTAI Aidan Flynn noted that instead of a numerical cap on the number of flights allowed between certain times, there is an annual noise quota for the airport, which could impact cargo services.
“While these changes, which include additional nighttime flying hours, will increase flight availability for passengers arriving at and departing from Dublin Airport, the new regime will create challenges for integrated service providers from express freight,” Flynn explained.
“Night flights currently carry around 19 billion euros worth of imports and exports each year. Following changes to the way night flights are operated at Dublin Airport, it is essential that crucial express cargo services are still prioritized for slots that support complex and efficient chain links global supply chain based on night flight connections.
Flynn added that the new runway blocked direct access to airside operations from cargo operators.
“This will create significant logistical issues that will not be easily resolved. The previous access to the airport allowed loading and unloading in about 10 minutes. The proposed new route along the northern ring road is 8 km long and will take more than 30 minutes each way.
“FTAI is calling on the Dublin Airport Authority to speed up the development of the promised underpass and review the necessary standard of support services, including office space.”
DAA recently tabulated a Sisk/Lagan joint venture to undertake its Dublin Airport airside and landside modernization program worth c. €325 million.
Dublin Airport’s new north runway (Photo: Conor McCabe)