2.3 Policy and statutory context

Dúntadate_range3 M.F., 2019, 9:00am - 15 D.F., 2019, 5:00pm

This Local Area Plan (LAP) is informed by, and in keeping with, the policy hierarchy of relevant national, regional and local planning policy, the key provisions of which are detailed below. The LAP transposes such policy to the local level, in accordance with the provisions of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023.


The NAP published by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport seeks:

  • To enhance Ireland’s connectivity by ensuring safe, secure and competitive access responsive to the needs of business, tourism and consumers;

  • To foster the growth of aviation enterprise in Ireland to support job creation and position Ireland as a recognised global leader in aviation; and

  • To maximise the contribution of the aviation sector to Ireland’s economic growth and development.

The NAP specifically 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.


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 NAP 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.

Chapter 3 of the NAP also highlights that,

Ireland’s export competitiveness should be enhanced through improved air-cargo provision to existing and emerging markets.

Chapter 6 of the NAP also recognises that,

Ireland recognises the valuable contribution that the aircraft leasing, finance and MRO industries make in their own right and in supporting other activities in the wider aviation sector. We are committed to maintaining and building Ireland’s attractiveness as a base for these activities and particularly to creating the conditions to grow employment in these industries.

Specifically, the NAP highlights the important supporting role of MRO facilities to the aviation sector and promotes the maintenance and continued growth of such facilities. A REVIEW OF FUTURE CAPACITY NEEDS AT IRELAND’S STATE AIRPORTS 2018

This review commissioned by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and carried out by Oxford Economics (DTTAS Review of Future Capacity Needs), provides a basis for planning for future growth and investment of Ireland’s state airports including Dublin Airport. Specifically, the review sets out forecasts for passenger and aircraft movements for Dublin Airport up to 2050 and identifies the key infrastructural capacity issues that will need to be addressed over that same period. The short and medium term29 infrastructural investments required to facilitate airport growth are also addressed and inform the infrastructure required during the plan period to facilitate forecasted growth. The principal options for meeting longer term infrastructural capacity needs beyond the plan period is also explored including prospectively a third terminal. The findings of this report have informed the preparation of this LAP.


Climate change policy at International, EU, national and regional level including Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement set out measures requiring a transformational shift of our economies and societies towards climate resilient and sustainable development. Climate action must be seen as complementary to other important policy objectives, such as promoting sustainable economic development pathways, improving energy security, and addressing air pollution impacts on human health. A move towards more sustainable transport options is expected to contribute towards significant improvements in local air quality metrics and health outcomes. This is supported in national policy and legislation as outlined and further discussed in Chapter 5 of this LAP.

In support of the transition towards a low carbon society, objectives to support the use of sustainable public transport modes, renewable energy, energy efficient buildings, innovative design solutions and sustainable water management are contained in the LAP.


The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s ‘Project Ireland 2040 - National Planning Framework (NPF) is the overarching policy and planning framework for the social, economic and cultural development of the Country. This framework is underpinned by the National Development Plan 2018-2027 that guides strategic development and infrastructure investment at national level. Dublin Airport is considered to be of strategic importance both to the functioning and competitiveness of the economy of Ireland as set out in the NPF.

The NPF includes high-quality international connectivity as a National Strategic Outcome (National Strategic Outcome 6) and recognises the crucial role that the provision of high-quality connectivity has for overall international competitiveness. It addresses opportunities and challenges from Brexit through investment in our airports, in line with sectoral priorities already defined through the National Aviation Plan. The NPF also specifically mentions key strategic projects such as the second runway and additional terminal facilities for Dublin Airport under National Strategic Outcome 6. Key future growth enablers identified for Dublin include enhanced land-side access30 to Dublin Airport, particularly public transport provision such as MetroLink, improved road network connections in the longer term and consideration of heavy rail access to facilitate direct services from the national rail network in Chapter 3 Effective Regional Development and specifically Section 3.2 of the NPF. Careful land- use management of public (land-side) areas is also required to focus on the current and future needs of the airport as key infrastructure for national and regional development.

The NPF through its national policy objectives is explicit in its promotion of environmental protection. The NPF seeks to ensure that development occurs within environmental limits, having regard to the requirements of relevant legislation and the sustainable management of natural resources as set out in National Policy Objective 52. NPF policy objectives also focus on carbon footprint reduction by integrating climate action into the planning system as set out under National Policy Objective 54. This is to aid in achieving national targets for climate policy mitigation and adaptation objectives, as well as targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The use of renewable energy, energy efficient buildings, innovative design solutions, sustainable water management and alternative public transport modes as well as the proactive management of noise are all promoted through national policy objectives to achieve a sustainable future. Objectives and policies on these matters are contained in the LAP. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2018-27

The National Development Plan - 2018-27 (NDP) 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 identified in the National Development Plan for Dublin Airport are:

  • The development of an additional runway and terminal facilities. (Chapter 5 Section 5.2);

  • Improved access to the airport including provision of MetroLink. (Chapter 5 Section 5.2). REGIONAL SPATIAL AND ECONOMIC STRATEGY 2019

The Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy, 2019 (RSES) sets out a long-term strategic planning and investment strategy for the Dublin area and surrounding counties and the Midlands to 2031. The RSES acknowledges Dublin Airport as a key national asset to Ireland’s economic success which is linked with its global connectivity to trade and tourism markets and requires support to ensure it continues as an economic driver. The RSES acknowledges that the Dublin region is the main global gateway to Ireland with Dublin Airport one of the fastest growing in Europe. Included in this RSES is a 12 year horizon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP) for Dublin, giving greater analysis and detail of how the overall objectives and policies of the NPF and RSES will be implemented. The MASP identifies key strategic residential and employment development corridors, large scale regeneration areas, linked to quality public transport with key services infrastructure investment required to support growth and key investments in amenity and community resources, to create sustainable compact communities.

The RSES and the MASP aligns with the NAP and NPF in recognising and promoting the national importance of Dublin Airport. The strategy reiterates the need to protect and improve access to the global gateway of Dublin Airport as a growth enabler for the Dublin Metropolitan Area. The guiding principles for the growth of the Dublin Metropolitan Area promotes:

Dublin as a Global Gateway – In recognition of the international role of Dublin, to support and facilitate the continued growth of Dublin Airport and Dublin Port, to protect and improve existing access and support related access improvements.

(Section 5.3)

The RSES acknowledges that landside access to Dublin Airport will be significantly enhanced by the provision of Metrolink. In addition to this strategic infrastructure, the critical role of buses and improved bus services as part of the BusConnects scheme is promoted in serving air travellers and those employed in the Airport area in order to ensure that the mode share for public transport is maintained at a high level and further developed over the period of the RSES. In the context of improving landside access to Dublin Airport, connections from the road network from the west and north and in the longer term, consideration of heavy rail access to facilitate direct services from the national rail network in the context of potential future electrification are also promoted.

The RSES is explicit in the promotion of environmental considerations in the context of continued airport growth such as reduction of emissions and noise both of which should be mitigated. In the interests of public safety, careful land use planning must be considered in surrounding areas and flight paths.

Key Regional Policy Objectives pertaining to Dublin Airport include:

RPO 8.17

Support the National Aviation Policy for Ireland and the growth of movements and passengers at Dublin Airport to include its status as a secondary hub airport. In particular, support the provision of a second runway, improved terminal facilities and other infrastructure.

RPO 8.18

Improved access to Dublin Airport is supported, including Metrolink and improved bus services as part of BusConnects, connections from the road network from the west and north. Improve cycle access to Dublin Airport and surrounding employment locations. Support appropriate levels of car parking and car hire parking. FINGAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2017-2023

The Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 sets out the Council’s policies and objectives for the sustainable development of Fingal over the plan period. The growth of the County through the strategic vision and aims of the plan are supported by relevant objectives and policies.

Relevant elements of the strategic vision include:

  • Make better use of key resources such as land, water, energy, waste and transportation infrastructure.

  • Create a competitive business environment supporting economic development, job creation, tourism and prosperity for all.

  • Reduce climate change through settlement and travel patterns and reduced use of non-renewable resources.

  • Make Fingal an attractive and vibrant place to live, work and visit.

The relevant main aim within the Fingal Development Plan as set out seeks to:

Plan for and support the sustainable long-term development of Fingal as an integrated network of vibrant socially and economically successful urban settlements and rural communities, strategic greenbelts and open countryside, supporting and contributing to the economic development of the County and of the Dublin City Region.

The relevant strategic policy within the Fingal Development Plan regarding Dublin Airport seeks to:

Safeguard the current and future operational, safety, and technical requirements of Dublin Airport and provide for its ongoing development within a sustainable development framework of a Local Area Plan. The plan shall take account of any potential impact on local communities and shall have regard to any wider environmental issues.

Figure 2.4 - Dublin Airport Zoning Map

The associated land use zoning for the Airport and its surrounding lands are also established in the Fingal Development Plan as well as aviation related designations for noise and public safety zones that are associated with the operation of the Airport. See Fig. 2.4 and Fig. 2.5. Within the DA zoning, the extent of the LAP is set out as:

The extent to which the Dublin Airport LAP relates is set out under the ‘DA-Dublin Airport’ zoning and includes any associated lands identified as part of the designation of airport noise zones, noise contours, airport approach areas, public safety zones or other zones identified as necessary for designation in order to maintain or increase the quality of life of neighbouring communities and foster compatibility between aviation activities and residential areas.

(p369 Fingal Development Plan)

Objective DAO2 of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 seeks to:

Prepare and implement a new Local Area Plan for Dublin Airport which will accommodate the future sustainable growth and development of the airport lands while also facilitating the efficient and effective operation of Dublin Airport in accordance with the requirements of the Local Area Plan and proper planning and sustainable development.

Figure 2.5 - Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023

In summary, the Fingal Development Plan highlights both the international and national importance of Dublin Airport in the Country’s transportation network. The promotion of Dublin Airport as a secondary hub in tandem with required infrastructure and facilities is promoted in the FDP in line with national government policy.

Its paramount significance as an economic entity in Fingal and the region, and its ability to drive economic development and generate direct and indirect forms of employment is highlighted and further outlined and supported in Chapter 6 of this LAP.

Facilitating the efficient and effective operation of the airport and safeguarding its current and future operational, safety, technical and development requirements is specific policy. In line with these policies, the FDP also recognises the impact of airport growth on neighbouring communities with development required to have regard to both the environmental impact on local communities.

A full list of objectives relating to Dublin Airport included in the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 is included in Appendix 2 of this LAP for reference. DUBLIN AIRPORT CENTRAL MASTERPLAN MARCH 2016 (DAC MASTERPLAN)

The DAC Masterplan was prepared in the context of the previous Fingal Development Plan 2011-2017 which provided for an area of ‘HT’ – High Technology zoned lands within the Airport LAP lands. In addition, Local Objective 378 established the Masterplan requirement as the framework in which to determine the appropriate nature and quantum of development on these HT zoned lands. The current Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 retains the HT zoning objective and associated Masterplan designation which forms part of the LAP. The South Fingal Transport Study 2019 included analysis of traffic in respect of the DAC Masterplan lands which has informed the objectives contained within Chapter 8 of this LAP. SOUTH FINGAL TRANSPORT STUDY 2019

The South Fingal Transport Study 2019 was prepared by Fingal County Council in accordance with objective MT07 of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 and undertaken in collaboration with the relevant statutory transport agencies including Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Agency. This study seeks to provide a strategic vision and overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the South Fingal area including the Dublin Airport lands and its environs based on a sustainable transport and smarter travel approach. The study was undertaken within the framework of agreed national and regional transport plans such as Smarter Travel Policy 2009–2020 and the NTA Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035. The findings of this study inform and underpin the Dublin Airport LAP. FINGAL LOCAL, ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY PLAN (LECP) 2016 – 2021

Table 8 and 12 of the LECP recognise the Airport as a key economic strength and asset. The Airport as a significant economic hub is also recognised in Table 15 – overarching economic priorities, in addition to making Fingal an attractive location for Foreign Direct Investment and tourism.


  • 29 - Short to medium term horizon as per the DTTAS Review is up to 2030. Longer term horizon is up to 2050.
  • 30 - Landside is the area(s) at an airport before passengers go through Security, Customs, and Immigration including landside access – road network and public transport.

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