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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
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# dublin airport security
Refusal of DAA boss to appear before Dáil committee on airport security 'unacceptable'
Members of the committee have said the airport operators cannot put meeting off until the autumn.

THE REFUSAL OF DAA to appear before the Oireachtas Transport committee this month has been called “unacceptable” and “intolerable” by TDs and senators. 

The operators of Dublin Airport refused an invite to appear before the committee which was due to discuss concerns about security screening at the airport.

In a letter to the committee, the chief executive states that due to the busy summer season, the meeting would have to be put off until the autumn. 

Last month, the DAA launched an internal review to investigate how a man passed through security screening and boarded an Aer Lingus flight without a passport or boarding pass.

The man was subsequently arrested and appeared before the Criminal Courts of Justice.

In a letter to the committee, seen by The Journal, Kenny Jacobs, Chief Executive of DAA, said given that Dublin Airport has now entered the peak summer season, the full focus of his staff is continuing to deliver successfully on its summer plans for the airport over the busy weeks and months ahead.

DAA will not be in a position to attend the committee on 19 April, he said, stating that they would be more than happy to meet with the committee again once the busy summer season has concluded.

Labour’s Duncan Smyth, who is a member of the committee, said: 

“It is vital the DAA come before the Transport Committee at the earliest possible convenience. We have security and aircraft noise issues which require urgent discussion and information sharing. It is intolerable that we would have to wait until after the busy Summer season to discuss any of these issues.”

Speaking to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne this morning, Senator Timmy Dooley, who also sits on the committee, said it was “unacceptable” that DAA had refused to appear. 

He said there were serious concerns relating to security screening at the airport, highlighting the recent case, stating that while there is an internal review underway, the committee’s remit is to get answers for the public. 

The letter from the DAA boss said security recruitment and training is “progressing well” with 700 security officers in total now employed and 200 new security team members hired since the start of the year.

“We continue to target in excess of 800 trained security officers and, based on current recruitment rates, we expect that we will achieve this target as planned over the course of the coming months.

As Committee Members will appreciate, we do not publicly comment on any other specific aspects of security operations as these are highly security sensitive,” said Jacobs in his correspondence. 

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