Dublin Airport wants permission to amend planning conditions for more night period flights
Dublin airport is constructing a new runway, which is expected to open in 2022. It had been intended to open in 2020. The current conditions would limit the use of the new northern runway between 11pm and 7am, and also place an overall limit of 65 aircraft movements across the entire airport during those hours. Now the Dublin Airport operator, DAA, has submitted an application to Fingal County Council for permission to amend two planning conditions that are due to apply to the operation of the new north runway and the overall runway system at Dublin Airport when the new north runway begins operations. It says the conditions are too “onerous” now wants to be able to operate a noise quota system between 11.30pm and 6am, ie. half an hour later into the night, and an hour earlier in the morning. Flights would operate for longer times than the quota period. The DAA says the new north runway would only be used between 6am and midnight, (ie. 2 hours longer than the 7am to 11pm originally) and it says the overall effects of nighttime aircraft noise are “less than envisaged under the planning permission granted in 2007, and do not exceed those in 2018.” The DAA is very keen to have flights between 6am and 7am, which is their “busiest time of the day.”
Dublin Airport operator, DAA, Submits Application For Permission To Amend Planning Conditions For New Dublin Airport Runway
Dec 22nd 2020 (Hospitality Ireland)
Dublin Airport operator DAA has submitted an application to Fingal County Council for permission to amend two planning conditions that are due to apply to the operation of the new north runway and the overall runway system at Dublin Airport when the new north runway begins operations.
The current conditions would limit the use of the north runway between 11pm and 7am, and also place an overall limit of 65 aircraft movements across the entire airport during those hours.
In its newly lodged planning application, DAA proposes the introduction of a noise quota system at night, which would operate between 11.30pm and 6am, and that the north runway would only be used between 6am and midnight.
In a statement published on the Dublin Airport and DAA websites, DAA CEO Dalton Philips said, “We had originally wanted to have these two onerous conditions removed entirely, but having engaged with the local community and listened to their views, we have revised our previous position and are now proposing very significant mitigation measures.”
DAA said that under its new proposals, the overall effects of nighttime noise at Dublin Airport are less than envisaged under the planning permission granted in 2007, and do not exceed those in 2018.
Within the planning application, DAA also proposes a new €7 million insulation scheme for dwellings that are most affected by nighttime noise. The proposed scheme would see grants of €20,000 paid to the owners of up to 350 eligible houses.
DAA has already established an insulation programme for approximately 200 local households as well as a voluntary scheme to purchase up to 38 properties that will be most affected by the operation of the north runway at a significant premium to their market value if the runway was not being built.
Philips asserted, “The new proposal balances the requirements of the Irish economy with the valid concerns of the local community.
“It has never been Dublin Airport’s intention to have lots more flights in the middle of the night, but in their original form, the two conditions would have a very significant impact on Ireland’s connectivity, as the hour between 6am and 7am is Dublin Airport’s busiest time of the day.”
According to Philips, the proposed new measures would provide Dublin Airport with “the operational flexibility that is required to help the Irish economy recover from the impact of COVID-19 and face the challenges of a post-Brexit environment, while ensuring that the effects of nighttime noise that were envisaged by the original planning conditions are not exceeded.”
Under new legislation that came into effect last year, a separate part of Fingal County has been appointed the competent authority for the purposes of noise regulation at Dublin Airport.
Under the legislation, the competent authority will apply what is known as the balanced approach to address the issue of noise at the airport. Under the balanced approach, three key elements must be considered before contemplating operating restrictions. The three key elements that must be considered are reduction of noise at source, land-use planning and management, and noise abatement operational procedures. According to DAA, only after these three elements have been exhausted, should the fourth element of the Balanced Approach – operating restrictions – be considered.
The competent authority has a 14-week public consultation period within its deliberations and its decision is incorporated within the overall planning decision. This decision can be appealed to An Bord Pleanála. When making its decision, it will take into account the views of the community, the aviation sector and other stakeholders, as well as international best practice.
Runway Construction Timeline
Construction of the new runway will be largely completed in the second quarter of next year and this will be followed by a rigorous period of testing and commissioning. The runway is expected to be operational in 2022.
Work to build Dublin 2nd runway could start in 2017 for completion in 2020
Dublin airport is to press ahead with building a 2nd main runway, resurrecting plans that were approved in August 2007 but then put on hold when Ireland was plunged into financial crisis after 2008. The 2 mile runway will be cost about €320 million (£258m) with work starting in 2017. It may be ready by 2020, to meet rising demand. Passenger numbers at Dublin are now back up to where they were before the recession, and although the airport is not yet at full capacity, it is congested at peak hours. There were around 25 million passengers in 2015. Passenger numbers are expected to rise further. Dublin to London is one of the world’s busiest international air routes, while the facility to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland has made Dublin popular with transatlantic travellers. Ireland cut is small charge of €3 on air tickets in 2013, while Northern Ireland continued to charge £13 in APD. Many people therefore travelled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, to save money. Ryanair has over 40% of the flights at Dublin backs the runway, as does IAG. Willie Walsh has said he might consider using Dublin more if Heathrow got a 3rd runway, and raised charges sharply. There are some conditions restricting night flights very slightly, (65 per night 11pm to 7am) with the 2nd runway.
Local residents not at all happy about noise plan for Dublin airport
Some residents living under flight paths of Dublin Airport are unhappy that a new plan is not adopting World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on permitted noise levels for aircraft. Fingal county council will become the noise regulator for the airport under proposals drawn up by transport minister Shane Ross. Fingal county council submitted a draft 5-year noise action plan for the airport to the Environmental Protection Agency last week. The public made more than 50 submissions in the consultation period, and most queried why new (October 2018) WHO noise guidelines were not adopted. WHO guidelines say that average noise exposure from aircraft should be limited to 45 decibels during daylight hours and 40 decibels at night. The council’s plan sets no limits for noise and instead focuses on mitigation measures. In the UK the WHO noise guidelines are not followed either – nowhere even approaching them. The number of people exposed to plane noise of 55-60 decibels was over 18,000 in 2016, and that is likely to rise due to more activity at the airport and more housing built near it. Fingal council said it is awaiting national or EU-led policy guidance on noise levels. Construction of the new 2nd runway, for yet more flights, is due to be completed in early 2021 and commissioning will then take place.