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Multiple flight information boards at Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport

Passenger price caps will prevent Dublin Airport from hiring additional security staff, DAA to say

The new DAA CEO will criticise the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

PRICE CAPS ON airline passengers will prevent the hiring of 240 new staff at Dublin Airport, the new DAA CEO is set to tell TDs.

Kenny Jacobs, the DAA’s new Chief Executive Officer, is set to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Transport Committee later today and will tell TDs and Senators that newly imposed price caps will be detrimental to Dublin Airport.

In his opening statement to the Committee, Jacobs will criticise the recent decision of the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) to not increase price caps on passenger charges more significantly.

“There needs to be a sustainable pricing and regulatory environment in place to support the provision of consistent service quality levels at Dublin Airport,” Jacobs will tell TDs.

“In this respect, the recent pricing decision by CAR, the aviation regulator, has a direct bearing on the number of staff that Dublin Airport can hire in security, cleaning and other key areas.

“In its decision, the regulator has disallowed the recruitment of up to 240 of the security staff needed at Dublin by 2026 which, in the context of learnings post-COVID, is both unwise and inexplicable.”

In late 2022, CAR – the body responsible for  Dublin Airport’s price caps – set the maximum airport charge at €8.68 for 2023.

This price cap is set to increase to €9.23 in 2024, €10.30 in 2025 and €11.73 in 2026.

“However, there is clearly a misalignment between the service quality standards which
policy-makers and other stakeholders require from Dublin Airport and the revenues
allowed by the regulatory system to fund them. The modelling done to arrive at the price
cap needs to support greater resilience and service levels,” Jacobs will say.

He is expected to tell TDs that Dublin Airport has the lowest charges among 18 similar-sized airports around Europe and will criticise the price caps for being lower than 2019 levels.

“The reality is that changes in passenger charges have virtually no impact on the price that an airline charges for a flight.”

Travel chaos

Jacobs is also set to acknowledge the difficulties Dublin Airport faced in May 2022, with significant queues that lead to people missing flights and cancellations.

“As has been well documented, at the end of May last year, there were unacceptable security queues that resulted in flight cancellations at Dublin Airport,” Jacobs will say.

“The experience at Dublin Airport last summer was not what we wanted, specifically on security queues and the overall standards.

“Since then, our dedicated team has changed the way we do things to improve security and standards for our passengers and airline customers and to continue to support and develop our people. And we have more to do.

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