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Background

Dublin Airport has grown steadily since the first flight took off on the 19th January, 1940. By 1950 212,661 passengers were using the airport, flying on 16,769 aircraft movements. Master planning studies in the 1960s concluded that, due to the substantial forecasted increase in air traffic, two parallel runways orientated east/west should be constructed at the airport. With this in mind, airport planners set about purchasing the land necessary for a southern and northern parallel runway.

During this time a consultative process was initiated with Dublin City Council resulting in the incorporation of plans for two parallel runways in the 1972 County Development Plan. The southern runway, Runway 10/28 was completed and officially opened on 21st June, 1989. There is no doubt that during the last decade Ireland has seen unprecedented economic growth. Never has this been more evident than at Dublin Airport where passenger numbers have more than doubled in a ten-year period from 10 million in 1997 to more than 23 million passengers at the end of 2007.

The proposed new runway is required to meet the continuing demand for air travel, to make sure that the need for runway capacity is met and to ensure that Dublin Airport can provide a wide range of destinations befitting an international airport. With passenger traffic forecasted to reach 30 million passengers by 2020, Dublin Airport needs to put in place facilities to cope with this growth. Because of the long lead-in time on planning approvals, construction and commissioning, it is prudent to apply for planning permission well in advance of the date that the new runway will be required. This will ensure that additional capacity provided by the parallel runway will be available when it is needed.

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