November 19 2010
Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 is a €600 million investment in Ireland’s future, according to Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) Chairman David Dilger.
At its peak, Terminal 2 was the largest construction project in the state, and employed up to 2,600 workers on site. During three years of construction, more than 10,400 men and women were involved in the project and more than 1,000 new jobs will be created with the opening of the new terminal.
Mr Dilger, who was speaking at today’s official opening of the new terminal by the Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D., said Terminal 2 will dramatically improve the travel experience for all Dublin Airport users for many years to come.
“Designed with the passenger in mind, T2 has been planned and built for the long-term,” Mr Dilger said. “The new terminal is the centrepiece of a five-year investment programme to expand, improve and upgrade Dublin Airport. Our passengers told us that they wanted better facilities and we have delivered them.”
The Taoiseach described the new terminal as a key infrastructural investment. “T2 was designed and built not just for this year or the next, but for many decades into the future,” according to Mr Cowen. “To view it through the prism of the current downturn would be short-sighted in the extreme. By investing prudently in improved facilities, we are laying the foundations for future growth and prosperity; not just for Dublin Airport, but also for the wider Irish economy,” Mr Cowen added.
The new terminal was funded through a combination of commercial revenues, aeronautical charges and borrowings as the DAA receives no funding whatsoever from the state.
Competitive airport charges have been a cornerstone of Dublin airport’s development in recent years and DAA will continue to provide excellent value for money for passengers and airline customers, according to Mr Dilger. “Dublin Airport’s current passenger charge is 25% lower than the average charge levied in 2009 by comparable European airports such as Brussels, Copenhagen, Stansted, Gatwick, Lisbon, Zurich, Vienna, Munich and Oslo.”
With its steel and glass facade, the new terminal makes use of natural light to create a modern and comfortable space for both departing and arriving passengers. The three storey terminal building has been designed with bright spaces in areas where passengers dwell such as check-in, baggage reclaim, security and the departures lounge.
Terminal 2 will be home to Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and US Airways. The new terminal is opening for operations on a phased basis, as agreed with the DAA’s airline customers.
Aer Lingus has already started putting selected flights through Terminal 2. It expects to operate a range of flights into and out of the new terminal over the coming weeks, as it prepares for the full transfer of its scheduled operations from January.
Etihad Airways will operate its first full scheduled service from next Tuesday, November 23, when it transfers its Dublin operation to Terminal 2. The terminal will open to the public on November 23 to coincide with the Etihad move.
T2 will also house a new US preclearance facility that will allow passengers on US bound flights clear all customs, immigration, agriculture and security checks before leaving Ireland. The Dublin preclearance facility will open in the New Year and US carriers will transfer into Terminal 2 to coincide with this timeframe.
US preclearance has been in operation at Shannon Airport since last summer and Ireland is the only country outside North America and the Caribbean that will offer this service to travellers.
Passengers using preclearance at Dublin will be treated as if they are a domestic US passenger and will face no further checks upon entry to the United States. Using preclearance in Dublin will also allow airlines to land at domestic gates and terminals in the US, which opens up new destinations and delivers significant cost savings to airlines.
“The commercial and economic benefits of US preclearance are very important, not alone for the DAA but for the Dublin region and for Ireland as a whole,” Mr Cowen said.
T2 also contains almost 40 new shops and food and beverage outlets, combining the best of Irish and international retail. The vast majority of the outlets will be operated by third party concessionaires and the income from this retail space, which is fully let, directly subsidises passenger charges at Dublin Airport.
The overall T2 construction project includes a new terminal building, a new boarding gate pier, a new combined heat and power facility, 19 new aircraft parking stands, and an upgraded airport road network.
Terminal 2, which has already won a major design award for its use of structural steel, was built by a consortium comprising Arup, Mace, Pascall+Watson and Davis Langdon PKS.
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