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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Taoiseach confirms backing for new €320m runway at Dublin Airport

Sinn Fein has expressed concern about noise for local residents.

The Taoiseach said that the new runway was a
The Taoiseach said that the new runway was a "very important for our economy, tourism and business".
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has told the Dáil that the Cabinet has thrown its weight behind plans for a new runway at Dublin Airport.

DAA has been pushing for a new €320 million runway which it says is necessary to develop the airport into an international travel hub.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach said that the Cabinet has agreed to support the plan, adding that he hopes work can start within months.

“It is very important for our economy, tourism and business that we increase capacity at the airport,” Varadkar said.

We want that to start within the next couple of months and we gave our support for that today.

The Taoiseach said Minister for Transport Shane Ross will give a more detailed statement on the Cabinet’s position later today.

Varadkar was responding to a question from Sinn Féin’s Dublin Fingal TD Louise O’Reilly who expressed concern at media reports that legislation was being prepared that would replace existing noise restriction laws with less restrictive EU rules from 2014.

“This is a major issue for those who live in the environs of Dublin Airport and who are anxious that the noise restrictions be retained as per the planning permission which was granted in 2007,” the deputy said.

Planning permission for the new north runway was granted by An Bord Pleanála in 2007 but the plans were shelved due to the economic downturn and a number of legal challenges.

Late last year, the High Court threw out three legal challenges to the proposed runway.

Speaking about O’Reilly’s concerns about noise, Varadkar said new EU rules have indeed been introduced since the original planning application.

“There is a new European noise directive which supersedes previous laws.  The minister, Minister Ross, will, through primary legislation, turn that new European directives into Irish law,” Varadkar said.

Varadkar added that Fingal County Council will be given the role of noise regulator for the airport.

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Rónán Duffy

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