8.4 Internal access

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

The smooth movement of passengers and goods around Dublin Airport including the terminal buildings and wider campus is essential for the efficient operation of Dublin Airport. In the core terminal area, this comprises movements between the kerbside, the various short stay car parking zones, the GTC and the terminal buildings. In the wider Dublin Airport campus, it comprises access to the long stay car-parking as well as the various employment areas and airport support facilities located at various parts across the campus.


The internal network of Dublin Airport is connected to the external road network at three locations: at the junction of the R132 and the M1, i.e. the Airport Roundabout; at the junction of Corballis Road South and the R132; and via a minor access point from the Naul Road just west of the Cloghran Roundabout. A one-way traffic circulation system extends into the Dublin Airport campus from the two main access points on the R132. The network broadly features an outer loop serving T1 departures and surface car park and an inner loop serving T2 departures and surface car park. A bus lane is provided off the inner loop to the GTC. Various airport land uses are enclosed within the perimeter formed by the internal road network. The exits from each of these areas lead back to the east-bound northern side of the internal road network and return to the Airport Roundabout.

The opening of Terminal 2 in 2010 produced a step-change in the road network and transport facility provision at Dublin Airport. The road network was reconfigured to provide direct independent access to both the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 kerbside areas. Existing bus and coach boarding and alighting facilities were expanded and redesigned to form the new GTC whilst car parking provision was also expanded to meet increased demand.


The GTC comprises various pick-up and set-down areas, car parking, and bus and coach boarding facilities. Private car and taxi drop-off activities are catered for via designated departures kerbs immediately adjacent to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Private car pick- up activities are officially designated to be undertaken in the short stay car-parks serving Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Whilst somewhat outside the scope of this LAP, the provision of improved way-finding, real-time passenger information, public transport information boards and other passenger facilities in the Airport terminals and on the interconnections between terminals and the GTC is considered a critical feature in enhancing the attractiveness of the various public transport options to arriving passengers in particular.


Taxi drop-off activities are catered for via designated departures kerbside areas immediately adjacent to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, while taxi pick-up activities are undertaken in designated taxi ranks serving Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Taxi traffic mixes with general traffic at the drop-off area meaning that it is potentially subject to kerb congestion.

Passenger set down and pick up facilities at the terminals should be reviewed with a view to providing improved definition and safer, high-quality environs, with reduced pedestrian and vehicle conflict. In particular, public transport modes of bus and taxis should be segregated from private car operations.


Shuttle services operating at Dublin Airport include those serving hotels, offices, parking facilities and car rental facilities. The various shuttle services operating at Dublin Airport provide a valuable addition to the public transport system by serving areas and meeting needs that are difficult to serve by standard public bus services that generally rely on larger volumes of passengers and operate over larger distances. Such services generally pick-up and drop-off passengers at the terminal forecourts and the GTC. The dispersed nature of such services can mean that significant volumes of traffic can become concentrated around the GTC and forecourt areas at peak times.


Airport based commercial development can be defined as commercial development that has no direct need to be at an airport but is attracted to it as a well-connected and attractive business location (e.g. offices, logistics, light industry), but would typically exclude non- airport retail, commercial leisure and residential development.

The approved Dublin Airport Central (DAC) Masterplan 2016 provides a framework for the development of the HT’ zoned lands with masterplan designation. An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for 41, 677 sq. m (Phase 1) of commercial office space at this location in February 2017. Phase 1 of the overall development is currently at advanced construction stage. Another phase is set out within the DAC Masterplan.

Any further phases of development at Dublin Airport Central would, in the absence of significant public transport interventions such as BusConnects and MetroLink, generate significant additional demand on the transport network and road network in particular. The significant forecast growth in passenger demand for Dublin Airport is likely to exacerbate the various transport network capacity constraints and the safeguarding of transport network capacity for core airport uses is required in order to fulfil the strategic national objective of safeguarding and facilitating access to Dublin Airport as the primary entry point to Ireland. Having regard to this requirement and the contents of National Strategic Outcome 6 within the NPF, any plans for further phases of development at DAC should only be considered after delivery of specific road network and public transport improvements, including the operation of the Swords CBC and Metrolink.


Specific measures related to internal accessibility are as follows:

  • Kerbside Facilities: Monitor the usage and capacity situation at the kerbside facilities to ensure optimal utilization and enact measures to prevent their use for activities other than those specified.

  • Taxi / Shared Taxi: Support the relevant authorities in monitoring the demand for and usage of these services and in providing suitably designed facilities. The use of the Dublin Airport taxi rank is controlled by means of a permit system operated by daa. This inherently reduces the number of taxis by placing an additional restriction on use, thereby reducing the number of taxis available at, in particular, peak flight arrivals periods. It also means that those taxis that drop passengers at Dublin Airport and who do not have a permit, must make the return journey back onto the local road network without picking up any passengers, thereby lowering the overall people-carrying capacity of the wider road network.

  • Taxi modes also represent a clear opportunity to more effectively manage taxi pick-up and set-down locations in terms of traffic management on the wider network. For example, certain taxi routes could be developed to redirect taxi traffic away from the congested areas around the eastern access and route them via, potentially the Ballymun Interchange or the N2. This could be facilitated through internal access arrangements within the Dublin Airport campus.

  • DA Zoning Commercial Development: Car parking provision as part of any future commercial development proposals within the Dublin Airport zoning must be carefully considered in the context of its potential to induce additional traffic, thereby impacting on the capacity of the road and transport network to accommodate the projected increases in transport demand from core airport users such as passengers. The provision of additional car-parking as part of any future development proposals within the Dublin Airport zoning will be fully considered in the context of the provision of multi-modal transport options for future users, mobility management measures and other measures to minimise negative impacts.

  • Link between Terminals and Western Airport Campus: Support all relevant stakeholders in investigating the need for a high capacity link between the existing eastern campus, car parks and logistics facilities and potential future developments in the western campus.

  • Shuttle services: Support all relevant stakeholders, including in particular daa, in coordinating shuttle services as demand increases in order to minimize traffic volumes on Dublin Airport’s road network and to avoid capacity constraints at the terminal pick-up / drop-off areas.


Require a review of traffic management arrangements around the Dublin Airport campus including internal access road and connections to the surrounding transport network, in order to provide for safe and efficient movement for all modes, as part of any planning application for an increase in origin-destination passenger numbers, which should assess the need for alterations in road alignment, grade separation, directional movement, and variable messaging signage, in order to provide for safe and efficient movement for all modes.


Support the implementation of a transport service linking the terminal buildings with long-term car parks around the southern and western perimeter of Dublin Airport.


Ensure that passenger facilities and services are designed and operated so as to enhance the experience of airport users. This includes provision of high quality, legible and efficient circulation routes for all modes, appropriate passenger and travel information, including public transport information boards, and wayfinding infrastructure, waiting facilities and other relevant passenger information.


Work with all stakeholders to identify the most appropriate regime for the efficient operation of taxi services including the management of any permit system and the identification of future dedicated taxi routes within the campus.


Provision of additional car-parking to serve uses within the DA zoned lands shall only be facilitated if it can be sufficiently demonstrated that the accessibility of Dublin Airport for its core uses including passengers and freight traffic will not be compromised.

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