3. Policy Context

3. Policy Context

The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan must be prepared in line with the objectives of the Fingal Development Plan, relevant E.U., national and regional guidelines. In this regard the planning system operates on the basis of a tiered structure of plans which are aligned from the national governmental level, via the regional level, and to local level, with conformity and consistency being an important aspect of the planning process.

Figure 5: Irish Planning System Overview

Source: Project Ireland 2040, National Planning Framework

The Local Area Plan will be prepared having regard to relevant policy documents in the area, including, but not limited to:

  • The National Planning Framework 2018-2027
  • Eastern and Midland Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy
  • Fingal Development Plan 2017 – 2023
  • Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2006-2015
  • Dublin Airport Central Masterplan
  • Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy 2016-2035
  • National Aviation Policy for Ireland 2015
  • Existing Planning Permissions (e.g. Terminal 2 and second parallel runway 2007)
  • EU Regulation 598/2014
  • Department of Transport commissioned Oxford and Cambridge Economics Review of Future Capacity Needs at Ireland’s State Airports

In this context, existing strategic plans at a national level that deal directly with Dublin Airport as highlighted below, all:

  • recognise the importance of the airport as a transport gateway and economic facilitator;
  • are configured to anticipate and support future growth;
  • support the construction of a second runway to accommodate this; and
  • acknowledge the importance of developing an environmentally sustainable approach to growth with noise impacts being a primary consideration.

Specifically the National Aviation Policy for Ireland (2015) states:

‘To ensure future connectivity and to deliver growth, it will be important that the State airports, and Dublin Airport in particular, have sufficient capacity and runways of sufficient length to enable services to operate to global emerging markets without weight restriction’.

And

‘A specific level of airport infrastructure, including terminal and runway capacity as well as surface access is required to support the development of Dublin Airport as a secondary hub’.

Chapter 2 of the Strategy also highlights that:

Ireland is committed to working with its EU and international partners to mitigate the impacts of aviation on the environment and facilitate the sustainable growth of the sector.

Ireland will implement a “Balanced Approach” to noise management at Irish airports in accordance with Regulation (EC) No.598 of 2014 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at Union airports.

The National Development Plan (2018-27) supports the implementation of the National Aviation Policy and identifies the importance of high quality international connectivity as being:

‘crucial for overall international competitiveness and addressing opportunities and challenges from Brexit through investment in airports in line with sectoral priorities already defined through National Aviation Policy and signature projects such as the second runway for Dublin Airport...’

Other key objectives also identified in the National Development Plan are:

  • The development of an additional runway and terminal facilities (Planning permission has already been approved for the additional runway).
  • Improved access to the airport

These strategic policy provisions are then translated to a County level via the Fingal Development Plan and the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan:

The Fingal Development Plan 2017 – 2023 is the strategic plan that will shape Fingal over a six year period – it provides a policy framework within which area specific subsidiary plans are prepared. Both Chapter 5, Rural Fingal, Chapter 6, Economic Development and Chapter 7, Movement and Infrastructure set out specific policy provisions in relation to Dublin Airport, while Chapter 11 outlines the Land Use Zoning objectives for the airport.

The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan will provide a detailed planning framework with associated policies and objectives relating to the future development of Dublin Airport and its environs. Ultimately the plan will provide the policy context against which all future development proposals at the airport will be assessed.

With respect to the policy context, we welcome your views. You may wish to consider the following questions as part of your response.

  • What are the key policy considerations for Fingal in preparing a Land Use Plan for Dublin Airport?
  • Are there any other documents or policies we should be considering?
  • Do you agree that sustainable development principles and mitigating the environmental impacts alongside airport growth should remain central to planning policy as it relates to the airport?