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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Some local residents aren't too happy with Dublin Airport's plans for a new runway

The announcement has divided opinion among people living near the airport.

Heathrow British Midland 737 File Photo Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

DUBLIN AIRPORT ANNOUNCED yesterday that it was progressing with the building of a new runway.

The announcement was immediately met with support from airlines, The Transport Minister as well as Fingal County Council.

Residents from an area in Swords and local councillors have responded to the announcement with a more guarded optimism, however, while residents in Portmarnock aren’t happy with the news.

In Portmarnock (which is beneath a major flight-path for Dublin Airport), a spokesperson for the community association said that they were “disappointed” that the runway was going ahead.

“We didn’t think that they were going to go ahead with this development,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ll be subject now to more noise in stereo from the planes.

The southerly runway goes over the south of Portmarnock and now the northerly runway will go over the north.

The spokesperson said that schools in the area were already affected by the noise of planes and that more flights would mean more disruptions.

Meanwhile, early local reaction is that people in Swords welcome the prospect of new jobs and business to the area (a lot of locals are employed in some capacity at the airport), but want proper consultation from officials with residents about the potential impact the new runway will have on their lives.

“Our estate is a 24 hour-day estate,” said Myles Caulfield, secretary of the River Valley Residents Association.

“A good number of our residents would be working at the airport.

In general we would welcome the proposed development… but we would be looking for more consultation with the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

Caulfield said that consultation on the noise levels with regards to departing and arriving planes would be important to residents. The new runway will be 1.6km closer to their houses than the current one.

Source: RollingNews.ie

“Onerous” conditions

The airport authority said that construction of the new runway would begin in 2017, with a view to being completed in 2020.

This will be 13 years after planning permission was first granted for the build.

Fingal County Council granted permission for a second runway at the airport in August 2007.

A lengthy consultation period with local residents to try to ease their worries over increased noise levels and aircraft traffic followed and is still ongoing.

The plans were put on ice after the economic downturn and a fall in numbers passing through the airport.

The original planning permission was granted with 31 conditions attached. Announcing the new runway yesterday, airport chief executive Kevin Toland said he had issues with two of these conditions.

“We have stated previously that two of these conditions are onerous and would severely reduce the future operational capacity of the airport at key periods,” he said.

16/9/2014 Civilianise Immigration Checks Kevin Toland (File Photo 2014) Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

These conditions would mean that a maximum of 65 “airport movements” (flights coming in and out) could take place between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

A spokesperson for Dublin Airport confirmed that currently there are in the region of 99 movements between these hours, and that the restrictions in place would impact the growth of the airport.

As it is, Dublin Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, and had its busiest year in 2015.

The other condition is that the new runway can’t be used between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

“We are very conscious of balancing the national and business needs with those of our local communities and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours in relation to this project,” Toland said.

The Portmarnock Community Association are a member of the Dublin Airport Stakeholders Forum and have been in negotiations with airport officials for a number of years.

Its spokesperson said that the community would be meeting officials from the airport next week but that the community as a whole was opposed to the new runway and the disruption that it would cause.

As of yet, Myles Caulfield from Swords said that he had received no communication from the DAA with regards to the new build.

“I think the restrictions are important,” he told TheJournal.ie.

Lots off people [in the area] have put in triple glazing to mitigate noise in the house already – but it’s going to get worse with the new runway.

Caulfield also said that it was important for residents to be able to get a good night’s sleep, and that increased traffic between the hours of 11pm and 7am would affect this.

RunwayAerialview An aerial view of the proposed new runway Source: DAA

Councillors

Local councillors approached by TheJournal.ie all broadly welcomed the announcement of the runway, with most from across the political spectrum saying that it would greatly benefit the area.

Fianna Fáil councillor Darragh Butler said that he welcomed the prospect of new jobs in the area and said that the new runway would benefit the argument for the introduction of a proper Metro North service linking the city centre with the airport.

However, he said the “proper consultation” with residents was needed to ensure that the all parties were satisfied with the development.

Read: Appeal for two missing people spotted at Dublin Airport

Read: Dublin Airport is getting a new runway at a cost of €320 million

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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