- Construction Package 1 is complete. The works involved new road construction, road realignment, site preparation, services diversions, compound formation and erection of site security fencing.
- Construction Package 2, which involves the construction of the runway, is being undertaken by a joint venture comprising of Irish firm Roadbridge and Spanish infrastructure company FCC Construcción.
- Main construction works began earlier this year and are progressing on schedule. To find out more click here.
- Waterford Insulation were appointed main contractor for both phases of the insulation programmes. Phase 1 is nearing completion, with preliminary works undertaken for Phase 2.
- In compliance with Government guidelines, it has been necessary to temporarily suspend insulation works because of the Covid crisis. Works will resume when restrictions have been lifted.
- Engagement is ongoing via the St Margaret’s Community Liaison Group, the Dublin Airport Environmental Working Group, Drop-In-Clinics and meetings with local resident groups and individual neighbours.
Dublin Airport is one of the most important economic assets in the country. The airport is Ireland’s main gateway, accounting for 85% of the nation’s total air connectivity, generating or facilitating 129,700 jobs and €9.8 billion worth of economic activity.
Waterford Insulation were appointed main contractor for both phases of the insulation programmes. Phase 1 is nearing completion, with preliminary works undertaken for Phase 2.
In compliance with Government guidelines, it has been necessary to temporarily suspend insulation works because of the Covid crisis. Works will resume when restrictions have been lifted.
The first phase of runway construction commenced in December 2016 and was completed 12 months later.
The works involved the diversion of the Naul Road and comprised the construction of a 2.5km single 8m wide carriageway including a new priority junction and spur roads. Additionally, a second section of the Naul Road required realignment which involved the construction of a 900m single 8m wide carriageway and the installation of a new priority junction.
Two new airfield viewing areas were also constructed in addition to the erection of over 14km of fencing. Phase one also included site clearance, tree and hedgerow removal and replanting, installation of a new 200mm water main and relocation of a local monument.
Extensive archaeological site investigations of the North Runway site were undertaken, with as many as 30 archaeologists on site during the peak of the excavations. Multiple ecological surveys were also undertaken prior to commencing the works. This included surveys for badgers, bats and other species. Ecological habitat to compensate for the loss of the area was also provided. The Contractor carried out extensive air, noise and water monitoring as well as implementing a dedicated Environmental Management Plan and Traffic Management Plan.
The current runway system at Dublin Airport is under significant capacity strain and is now full 86% of the time. This means that Dublin Airport currently has no departure slots available for a daily service from 6am to 9pm and growth is starting to falter due to a lack of runway capacity. North Runway will bring more runway capacity which means more choice for customers, more competition and connectivity, boosting tourism, trade and foreign direct investment.
Dublin Airport is a key gateway for Ireland. The airport, which is a critical economic enabler, is currently full at key times of the day and is growing quickly. Since 2014, annual passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have increased by 45% from 21.7 million to 31.5 million, making it one of the fastest-growing large airports in Europe during that period.
Dublin Airport currently has 60 airlines operating 190 routes to 43 countries and is now the 12th best connected airport in Europe. Long-haul traffic has grown by 15% in 2018, while short haul traffic increased by 5% during this time. A total of 16 new routes were added in 2018. Dublin Airport is currently ranked fifth in Europe for transatlantic connectivity, with services to 20 destinations in North America.
Planning Permission for North Runway included 31 conditions. daa has consistently signaled its concerns with regard to two of these conditions due to the constraints on flight movements that would be imposed, airport-wide, once North Runway becomes operational:
- Condition 3(d) prohibits use of North Runway for landings and take-offs between the hours of 11pm and 7am.
- Condition 5 states that, on completion of construction of the new runway, the average number of night time aircraft movements (during the busy summer period) at the airport shall not exceed 65 per night (between 11pm and 7am).
The operating restrictions will have a hugely negative influence on the airport’s current operations and its potential to develop and grow in the future. The impacts of the restrictions include:
- Increasing capacity constraints: Traffic forecasts indicate the potential for passenger throughput figures of up to 36 million by 2022 and up to 50 million by 2037. Aircraft movements are also set to increase. The existing runway network is now full for large parts of the operational day and the additional capacity that North Runway provides is required, particularly at peak periods in early morning and late evening, to service the growing demand.
- Jeopardising the creation and retention of long-haul services: At 3,110m, North Runway can facilitate flights to long-haul destinations such as Africa, Asia and South America. However, attracting new long-haul services, ahead of other European airports, could be impeded due to the lack of operational flexibility the restrictions will bring. The airport is also a key gateway between Europe and North America, with transfer passenger numbers increasing by 18% to 1.8million in 2018. The operating restrictions in the 11pm to 7am period will limit scope for developing those long-haul services to North America.
- Impacting connectivity development: In 2018, 29.4 million people started and ended their journey at Dublin Airport, whilst a further 2.1 million passengers used the airport as a hub. An increasing proportion of long-haul passengers are seeking to connect onto early morning UK and European flights. The proposed restrictions would negatively impact opportunities for flight connections, which in turn reduces the likelihood of new routes being established.
- Loss of business connectivity with Ireland’s customers in global markets
- Reduction in air services
- Increased air fares
This depends on where the house is located in relation to the airport's current and proposed flight paths, along with other factors such as the standard of insulation in the house. Details on the expected flight paths, once operations on North Runway commence, are available here.
- LAeq day noise contours cover a 16-hour period (7am to 11pm) over 92 days during the airport's busiest summer months.
- LAeq night noise contours cover a 8-hour period (11pm to 7am) over 92 days during the airport's busiest summer months.
This approach is in line with that used at many other European airports and is consistent with the metrics used in the conditions set out in An Bord Pleanala's grant of planning for North Runway.
Flight paths are the designated routes aircraft follow under the direction of Air Traffic Control (ATC). ATC in Ireland is delivered by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA-ATC). While flight paths are often shown as single lines on a map, it is not always possible for aircraft to fly exactly along that line. In practice, flight paths will vary either side of the route, within a designated flight corridor.
IAA-ATC manages aircraft for landing or take-off along specific flight paths as well as keeping aircraft at safe distances from each other in the air and on the ground. Safe movement of aircraft is a vital consideration in the development of flight paths.
Once an aircraft reaches the end of the Noise Preferential Route (NPR), normally at an altitude of 3,000 feet, a controller will turn it onto a more direct path towards its destination. Air Traffic Control can turn aircraft off NPRs below 3,000 feet for safety reasons, for example to avoid storms.
The existing flight paths follow a straight line from the end of the runway for both arrivals and departures.
For most aircraft operating from Dublin Airport, departures from all runways (except easterly departures on the existing southern runway) must maintain course straight out for five nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1,852 metres) after take-off before commencing a turn, unless otherwise cleared by Air Traffic Control. Easterly departures on the existing southern runway must maintain course straight out for five nautical miles before commencing a turn to the north, or to six nautical miles before commencing turn to the south.
Note: Turboprop aircraft are generally turned earlier for reasons of efficiency.
Noise mapping and oversight involves multiple parties of which daa - which is designated as the noise mapping body for airports – is just one. Responsibilities in this area include:
- Local Authorities are responsible for producing Noise Action Plans.
- The Environmental Protection Agency has overall oversight of the noise mapping and planning process and is responsible for reporting the results to the EU every five years.
- Fingal County Council, the appointed Competent Authority, is charged with independently assessing noise contours and ensuring that required noise controls/restrictions at airports are appropriate and in line with the Balanced Approach.
In June 2016 Directive 2002/30/EC was repealed and replaced by Regulation 598/2014. Regulation 598/2014 establishes the rules and procedures for the introduction of noise related operating restrictions (if required) using the Balanced Approach.
The new Regulation reinforces the requirement for airports and competent authorities to apply the Balanced Approach when considering the introduction of noise related operating restrictions at airports. Such operating restrictions should only be introduced if the noise abatement objective of the airport cannot be met through the other Balanced Approach measures (Reduction at source, Land-use Planning and Operating Procedures). The Regulations also introduce a more stringent definition for 'marginally complaint' Chapter 3 aircraft.
Environment and Health
Dublin Airport is always striving to minimise the negative impacts on the environment associated with its operations and its evolving growth. Since 2009, the airport has actively participated in the voluntary Airport Carbon Accreditation Scheme and has consistently achieved reductions in carbon emissions since entering the programme. The airport is now aiming to achieve carbon neutral status by 2020 under the scheme.
Dublin Airport manages and reduces its own direct emissions in line with its obligations under the various national and EU energy efficiency and carbon regulations.
However, due to the international dimension of aviation, the control of international aircraft emissions is at supra national level. Aircraft emissions from flights between countries within EU/EEA (European Economic Area) area are included within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which is one of the parcel of measures identified by EU to achieve a 20% reduction in CO2 by 2020 and a 40% reduction by 2030.
In recognition of the need to help manage the growth in international aircraft emissions, agreement on a global Carbon Off-Setting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was reached in ICAO on 6 October 2016. Ireland, as part of the 44 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference, has made a declaration to adhere to the international scheme from its first implementation phase from 2021.
The off-setting scheme proposed by ICAO will enable carbon neutral growth from 2020 and as such will result in airlines paying to off-set their additional carbon emissions through the purchase of carbon credits. This means that airlines can grow but the additional carbon emissions will be off-set and paid for by the airlines. daa fully supports the adoption of such a scheme.
This CORSIA scheme is one of the measures supported by the international aviation industry to address the climate change challenges. Since 2009, the aviation sector has had a common set of ambitious and robust targets to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport:
- An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020;
- A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth);
- A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels.
The industry has been taking impressive collaborative efforts to meet these goals, with representatives from airlines, airports, air traffic management and the manufacturing sector all taking part in the process.
In March 2017 ICAO also adopted a new aircraft CO2 emissions standard which will reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate. The standard will apply to all new aircraft type designs from 2020 and to aircraft type
designs already in-production as of 2023. Those in-production aircraft that do not meet the standard by 2028 will no longer be able to be produced unless their designs are sufficiently modified.
Dublin Airport has more than 1,600 local, urban, national bus and coach movements per day and is the country’s largest bus station. A Mobility Management Plan for the airport is in place which specifies how we address staff and passenger access to the airport and sets out measures to increase use of sustainable transport modes. The airport is fully supportive of the introduction of a metro system for the airport.
- By 2020 the use of LEVs will be specified in procurement processes for daa service providers who operate vehicle fleets
- By 2022 Dublin Airport will convert its bus operations to a LEV fleet
- By 2022 the use of LEVs will be mandated for airside operators
- By 2023 Dublin Airport will convert to a LEV fleet
- By 2024, daa will install Fixed Electrical Ground power to replace diesel generators on all contact stands
Fuel dumping rarely occurs at Dublin Airport, and only takes place in emergencies, under the strict control of the Air Navigation Service Provider (IAA-ANSP).
The EU Directive 598/2014 has endorsed the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) concept of a Balanced Approach to aircraft noise management. The National Aviation Policy (NAP) for Ireland, published in 2015, states that Ireland will implement a Balanced Approach to noise management at Irish Airports and Dublin Airport is abiding by this policy. The approach incorporates four key elements to the mitigation of noise levels at airports:
- Reduction of Noise at Source – Quieter Aircraft
- Land-use planning
- Noise Abatement Operational Procedures
- Operating restrictions
Reduction of Noise at Source - Quieter Aircraft
- Modern aircraft are quieter than their predecessors and this has been mainly achieved by technological developments in aircraft design. Noise standards are developed by ICAO and enforced throughout the EU. The ICAO noise chapter certification defines the specific noise performance criteria which aircraft must achieve. Chapter 2 aircraft have been banned from operating within the EU since 2002. The vast majority of aircraft operating in the skies above the EU are now Chapter 4 with an increasing number of Chapter 14 aircraft entering the fleet as airlines take delivery of newer aircraft.
- At Dublin Airport, we are fortunate to have a large proportion of aircraft that meet the most stringent noise classes (Chapter 4 and 14). In 2018, over 90% of aircraft operating here were the quietest models.
- Land Use Planning and management requires working with our local authority, Fingal County Council, to safeguard land use in the vicinity of the airport and to limit impact on local and future communities.
- A new runway has been incorporated in successive County Development plans since the 1970s and Dublin Airport has benefitted from that far-sighted planning process that has kept the approaches to the runways largely clear of development and limited noise exposure. This is achieved by reference to the noise and public safety zones established during statutory planning processes. Fingal County Council's County Development plan 2017-2023 defines 'inner' and 'outer' noise zones. The inner zone limits new residential development and other noise-sensitive areas. The outer zone controls inappropriate development and requires noise insulation where appropriate.
- The new runway is being constructed on the airport’s own land bank and unlike many other international airports, we have very few people living under our flight paths which means that land-use planning has been effective to date.
Noise Abatement Operational Procedures
At Dublin Airport we have worked closely with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) on noise abatement procedures to minimise the effects of aircraft noise on local communities which include:
- Environmental corridors where aircraft adhere strictly to flight paths
- Continuous descent procedures for arriving aircraft
- Noise abatement and take off climb procedures for departing aircraft
- Restricted reverse thrust for aircraft
- Designated times and location on the airfield for engine test run ups
- Preferential runway usage
A fundamental requirement of the Balanced Approach is that when determining the most appropriate combination of noise mitigation measures for a given airport, operating restrictions should only be introduced after consideration of the other three elements.
The Balanced Approach recognises that noise challenges are unique to each airport and a tailored approach needs to be adopted. There are currently no operating restrictions in place at Dublin Airport.
- Dwellings which fall within the predicted 69dB LAeq 16hr day contour are currently eligible for the Voluntary Dwelling Purchase Scheme.
- Dwellings which fall within the 63dB LAeq 16hr day contour are currently eligible for the Voluntary Residential Noise Insulation Scheme. It should also be noted that daa has extended participation in the scheme to over 40% more houses than required by the grant of permission because we have regard to the 63dB LAeq, 16hr day noise contours submitted to An Bord Pleanala in 2007 rather than the current forecasts which would encompass a much smaller area.
- Schools which fall within the 60dB LAeq, 8hr day contour are eligible for the voluntary Schools Insulation Scheme.
There is no requirement for Compulsory Purchase Orders to facilitate the construction of North Runway. The new runway is being constructed on the airport's own land bank.
A package comprising of some or all of the following measures will be available as part of the scheme: double or secondary glazing for all windows and external doors, attic insulation comprising of layers of insulation, and acoustic solutions for vents and chimneys.
Airport and Runway Operation
Option 7B is a preferred runway concept, which was agreed as part of the 2007 runway planning permission to lessen the impact of aircraft noise on local communities.
Mode of operation 7B provides that:
- the parallel runways - 10R-28L (existing main runway) and 10L-28R (North Runway) - shall be used in preference to the cross runway, 16-34;
- In westerly operations, when winds are westerly, approximately 70% of the time, Runway 28L shall be preferred for arriving aircraft; either Runway 28L or 28R shall be used for departing aircraft as determined by air traffic control.
- In easterly operations, when winds are easterly, approximately 30% of the time, either Runway 10L or 10R as determined by air traffic control shall be preferred for arriving aircraft. Runway 10R shall be preferred for departing aircraft.
Most of the time the two runways at Dublin Airport will be operated in segregated mode, i.e. one runway for all arrivals, the other for all departures. However, there will be occasions during peak hours when runways will need to operate in mixed mode, i.e. both runways used simultaneously for arrivals and departures. For safety and aircraft separation reasons, international standards for mixed mode operations require that aircraft courses diverge by at least 15°, approximately one nautical mile after take-off.
During the 2016 daa Consultation on Flight Paths and Change to Permitted Operations, feedback was received from the public which indicated that there is a preference for the scenario which involves: 'Straight out on south runway; split divergence of 15° and 75° on departures for North Runway depending on ultimate destination of the aircraft'. This preferred option has been shared with the IAA-ANSP (Air Navigation Service Provider), which has overall responsibility for airspace design.
Efforts to enhance runway capacity have been ongoing at Dublin Airport for many years. The Runway Process Improvement Group, comprising of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), based-airlines and Dublin Airport Operations, has a remit to increase runway capacity at Dublin Airport.
Specialist consultancy and analysis is undertaken by NATS Analytics, which conducted a detailed capacity assessment in 2013. This has formed the basis of a multi-year work programme to incrementally increase runway capacity.
As a result of the work of the Runway Process Improvement Group and NATS Analytics, Dublin Airport was able to accommodate 35 departures in the peak hour of the morning in time for summer 2016 (two years earlier than planned). A similar number of departures were accommodated in the peak hour in summer 2017. This was achieved by reducing separation between successive departures and the implementation of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM). These efforts also involved negotiating with the UK's en-route Air Navigation Service Provide (ANSP) in relation to reduced in-flight separation trails when entering UK airspace. It is anticipated that the maximum number of departing aircraft that could be achieved in the peak morning hour, given the need to allow runway time for aircraft arriving, is 39.
The passenger numbers that can be accommodated at a single runway airport is significantly impacted by a range of factors including:
- The size of aircraft using the airport: Gatwick has bigger aircraft using its airport than at Dublin (on average 154 passengers per aircraft versus 130 at Dublin); therefore, its runway accommodates more passengers when compared to Dublin.
- Operational procedures adopted by the aviation authorities: Gatwick has more permitted departures per hour and its air traffic controllers adopt different procedures in the air. Aircraft depart from Gatwick on diverging routes after take-off, allowing them a minimum interval of 60 seconds between successive departures. This is not the case at Dublin; aircraft follow the same route after take-off, which requires a minimum of c. 80 seconds between successive departures.
- Dublin Airport is continually working to ensure we maximise runway capacity whilst maintaining safety at all times.