Dublin Airport has opened its 320 million euro north runway, some 15 years after the first planning permission was granted.
Ryanair was the first carrier to use the airport’s second runway, with the B737 Max 200 FR1964 flight to Eindhoven taking off at midday on August 24.
The airport said the north runway would facilitate larger aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747-8, as well as adding “extra much-needed runway slot capacity for short-haul flights. during the peak periods of departure and arrival early in the morning and late in the evening”.
Planning permission for the track was first granted in 2007, but the economic downturn of 2008 led to the abandonment of the project until 2016.
The airport said the new runway was “essential to Dublin’s growing position as a hub for travel between Europe and North America”, adding that “improved connectivity will mean greater choice of destinations and airlines for business and leisure customers, as well as competitively competitive fares”.
A recent decision by Fingal County Council will allow ‘limited extended use of the new runway during key late evening and early morning peak periods’, as well as replacing an overnight aircraft movement cap “through a more thoughtful noise management quota system that encourages the use of quieter aircraft”.
Local residents are being offered insulation grants of €20,000 to help mitigate increased noise pollution as a result of the new track, although some have called the amount “not enough”.
Commenting on the news, Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department for Transport, said:
“The new northern runway will provide much needed capacity and allow Dublin Airport to rebuild and improve connectivity with our island, putting Ireland in a strong position to facilitate increased economic activity.
“The new runway is a crucial piece of infrastructure that will allow Dublin Airport to expand and provide the capacity needed to connect major existing and emerging global markets.”
DAA Chairman Basil Geoghegan said that following the development of the northern runway, “we will progress at pace with our planned investment program in a refurbished terminal, new piers, gates, stands and transfer facilities. which will ensure a compelling service and lasting legacy for future generations of air travelers in and out of Ireland”.