Chapter 8: Dublin Airport

Dúntadate_range24 Fea, 2022, 9:00am - 12 Bea, 2022, 11:59pm

8.1  Introduction

Dublin Airport is of vital importance to the Irish economy and acts as the principal international gateway for trade, inward investment and tourism. The aviation sector is one of the most important components of Fingal’s local economy. The aviation sector is multifaceted and includes sectors such as aviation safety, security, regulation, governance, financing, air cargo, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), aircraft leasing, ground handling, ground transport, catering, and customer services. Dublin Airport is nationally significant due to its employment base, passenger throughput and air freight services and it remains the primary economic hub in Fingal. With 233 thousand flights arriving and departing from 177 destinations via 46 airlines, Dublin Airport welcomed a total of 32.9 million passengers during 2019, making it the airport’s busiest year on record.

About 30.7 million people started and ended their journey at Dublin Airport in 2019, while almost 2.2 million passengers used the airport as a hub, reflecting the growth of the airports hub role in line with national policy. Since March 2020 Passenger throughput contracted at Dublin Airport from 6.7 million in Q1 2020 to just 156,000 in Q2 2020 as international travel restrictions severely disrupted numbers travelling (Dublin Economic Monitor, September 2020). Notwithstanding this, Dublin Airport is a major employment cluster and a strategic business location nationally as well as being the single most significant economic entity in Fingal and the wider Dublin City region.

The Airport is a primary contributor to Ireland having one of the highest connectivity levels on the continent relative to the size of its population and economy. In terms of connectivity, Dublin Airport has been the second fastest growing airport among major European airports over the last five years (InterVISTAS – Dublin Airport Economic Impact Study 2019). This connectivity is critical to the economic development of Ireland, including trade, tourism, FDI and business location decisions. More than any other business or economic driver, Dublin Airport and its ongoing growth generates significant benefit for the County, allowing for a diverse local economy to flourish.

With passenger numbers forecasted to reach 40 million persons per annum by 2030, the sustainable growth of the airport is paramount. This will require balancing a number of key issues such as climate change, infrastructure provision and community engagement while ensuring that the core operational transport function of the airport is protected. National, Regional and local policy supports the continued growth of Dublin Airport, including its development as a secondary European hub airport. In order to provide a framework for the further growth and sustainable development of the airport, the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan came into effect in 2020.

Fingal County Council is committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement and will take them into account in all decisions in relation to the Airport. The Council places a strong emphasis on reducing climate emissions through increasing use of more sustainable transport modes and smarter travel approach for surface access to and from Dublin Airport.

8.2  Context

Since the adoption of the previous Development Plan, Dublin Airport has continued to grow both in size and importance nationally and internationally. The airport has assumed a niche hub role within the European airport system servicing the Transatlantic aviation market, given its strategic geographical location and its unique ability in Europe to offer customs and immigration pre-clearance for passengers. In addition, the number of scheduled destinations served directly from Dublin has grown materially in recent years. Dublin Airport handles 80% of all international flights to Ireland. The airport also plays a significant role in terms of the movement of freight from Ireland.

This Plan contains the Dublin Airport (DA) zoning objective, which is a unique economic development zoning within Fingal, comprising an extensive area of some 1,024 ha. The DA zoning covers all the operational buildings and lands associated with the airport and runways. 19% of this land has been developed to date (Q4, 2021).

Dublin Airport’s infrastructure has continued to evolve over a number of decades incorporating the various landside and airside components. A number of important infrastructure projects have taken place and continue to take place at the airport in recent years. These include the overlay re-surfacing of the existing runway 10R/28L, airfield lighting upgrade, taxiway airfield ground lighting upgrade and enhancements to Pier 4 to accommodate expanded US pre-clearance facilities, the development of the new Air Traffic Control Tower and the north runway 10L/28R is close to completion. The Irish Aviation Authority has continued its work on the new €50 million visual control tower at Dublin Airport. The technical fit-out of the tower, which is required to facilitate operations at the airport on the new North Runway, was completed on budget in 2020. Full operations are planned for the tower towards the end of 2021 (National Development Plan, 2021).

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a devastating effect on air travel around the world and Dublin Airport is no exception. Almost 1.35m passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in September 2021, a 56% decrease when compared to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2019. In addition, almost 4.3 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first nine months of this year, representing an 83% decrease when compared to pre Covid-19 levels for the same period in 2019. (dublinairport.com, October 2021). Total passenger throughput at Dublin Airport edged up in Q2 2021, but still remained down by over 92% from its 2019 peak. Just over 600,000 passengers (SA) arrived at and departed from the airport in the second quarter of the year as travel restrictions within Europe and further afield were eased (Source: CSO – Dublin Economic Monitor, September 2021).

Infographic

The Aviation and Tourism sectors in Fingal are intrinsically linked and Dublin Airport is of high importance to the Irish tourism industry with 80% of visitors to Dublin having travelled via the Airport. The most recently available tourism data indicates that of the over 9.5 million visitors to Ireland in 2018, almost 70% of these (7 million visitors) entered and left through Dublin Airport, equating to 14 million (arriving and departing) passenger journeys. These visitors travel not just to Dublin (where 80% of visitors have arrived via the Airport) but throughout the island of Ireland, where 20% visit Northern Ireland and 40% other parts of the Republic (Dublin Airport LAP, 2020).

Dublin Airport’s strategic location provides access to national and international markets making Fingal an attractive location for business to locate. Dublin Airport is a major employment cluster and a strategic business location nationally. The airport has also spawned many new indirect but synergistic enterprise. The airport is home base for two major carriers, Aer Lingus and Ryanair and provides services to in excess of 40 airlines. The airport is a key economic engine for Ireland bringing additional jobs and tourism spending throughout the island. During 2019 Dublin Airport welcomed 32.9 million passengers, supported 19,200 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs and contributed €1.7 billion Gross Value Added. Indirectly, Dublin Airport is estimated to facilitate 129,700 jobs and contribute €9.8billion Gross Value Added nationally in total which is equivalent to 3.1% of national Gross Domestic Product (Dublin Airport Economic Impact Study, InterVistas, 2019).

The pivotal role of the airport in the transport network of Ireland is clear. This is due to its location at the nexus of the M1 (to Northern Ireland), M2, M3 and M50 motorways and the presence of major public transport corridors from the centre of Dublin (currently bus, planned MetroLink and prospectively heavy rail) serving the airport. The relative accessibility of Dublin Airport from much of the Country also suggests a broader role for the airport serving the whole island of Ireland.

Infographic

Figure 8.1 Dublin Airport National and Regional Context (source: Dublin Airport LAP, 2020).

Illustration and map

 

The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020 (LAP) has been prepared during the lifetime of the current Plan. The LAP provides an updated strategy for the continued growth of Dublin Airport in line with relevant aviation, planning and environmental policy within the context of a sustainable growth framework. More specifically, the LAP provides a detailed framework to:

  • Facilitate the capacity enhancements and operational improvements that are required within the short to medium term for Dublin Airport to:
    • Continue to operate safely and efficiently;
    • Keep pace with the anticipated growth in demand; and
    • Develop as a secondary European hub;
  • Outlines the community, environmental and supporting infrastructure and surface access measures necessary to support the Airport’s growth, consistent with:
    • Sustainable development principles;
    • Appropriate noise and environmental measures designed to protect public health; and
    • Ensuring high quality surface transport access to the Airport.

8.3  Opportunities

The existing scale, function, location and the strength of Dublin Airport’s catchment area and growing hub status provides significant opportunities for future growth and development at Dublin Airport, all of which is recognised in National, Regional and local planning and ancillary policy documents. Delivering enhanced infrastructure is critical to give Dublin Airport the capacity it needs to meet its growth potential within the plan period, providing further opportunity to develop the economy and provide opportunities for additional jobs, tourism, trade and investment (Dublin Airport LAP).

The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020 (LAP) has been prepared during the lifetime of the current Development Plan. The LAP provides an updated strategy for the continued growth of Dublin Airport in line with relevant aviation, planning and environmental policy within the context of a sustainable growth framework. This framework will facilitate the capacity enhancements and operational improvements that are required within the short to medium term for Dublin Airport to develop as a secondary European hub, to meet anticipated demand and to operate safely and efficiently. The LAP will also ensure that community, environmental, infrastructure and surface access measures to support the airports growth are carried out in a sustainable manner.

In order to achieve the anticipated growth of the airport, including increased passenger numbers and increased employment, a number of infrastructural developments are required, and these are detailed in the LAP. The development of MetroLink and core bus corridors under the BusConnects programme, including increased walking and cycling infrastructure will provide alternative sustainable transport modes to ensure better connectivity for passengers and workers arriving and departing the airport. A number of internal access measures are also proposed for the airport, which will improve accessibility and reduce congestion.


A number of major infrastructural projects are also near completion at the airport. These include the new northern runway and the new air traffic control tower. The new northern runway will alleviate current shortage of take-off and landing times during peak periods and will provide for additional capacity. This runway is due to be in operation in 2022.

The specific zoning objective applicable at the airport provides the opportunity to ensure the efficient and effective operation and development of the airport in accordance with LAP. This DA zoning objective comprises an extensive area of some 1,024 ha of which 198 ha (19%) has been developed to date (Q4, 2021). The aim of the zoning objective is to facilitate air transport infrastructure and airport related activity/uses only (i.e. those uses that need to be located at or near the airport).

Photo of a runway

8.4   Strategic Aims

The National Aviation Plan (NAP), which was published in 2015, identifies the aviation sector as a major contributor to the national economy and for international connectivity. Dublin Airport is critical in enabling trade, which for a small open economy such as Ireland, is a national imperative. The NAP is committed to creating an environment in which the sector can maximise its potential for the wider economy and it has 3 main goals, which include;

  • 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 recognises the requirement for increased infrastructure at the airport in order to ensure the sustainable development of Dublin Airport as a secondary hub and the NAP highlights the important role of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities to the aviation sector and promotes the maintenance and growth of such facilities.

The National Planning Framework (NPF) considers Dublin Airport to be of strategic importance both to the functioning and competitiveness of the economy of Ireland. The NPF includes high-quality international connectivity as a National Strategic Outcome (NSO 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 NAP.
 

The NPF also specifically supports 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 Airport include enhanced land-side access to the airport, particularly in terms of public transport such as the MetroLink, and improved road network connections from the west and north in the longer term and consideration of heavy rail access to facilitate direct services from the national rail network in the context of potential future electrification.

The Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) recognises 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. 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 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."

The aim of the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020 (LAP) is to facilitate the sustainable development of the Airport in line with national, regional and local policy. The strategic aims for Dublin Airport have been indicated in the LAP and these will be supported for the lifetime of this Plan also. As the LAP was prepared prior to the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, it could not have accounted for the devastating affect that the pandemic caused on the airport and global aviation in general. In this regard, Fingal County Council will continue to support the airport in its recovery and to ensure that it remains a key national asset to Ireland’s economic success.

The strategic aims of the LAP include:

  • Support for airport safeguarding
  • Support the continued sustainable growth of Dublin Airport and connectivity as a hub airport whilst ensuring protection of the environment.
  • Support the timely delivery of required infrastructure to facilitate airport growth.
  • Support the growth of the Airport as a major economic driver for the region.
  • Support continued communication between the Airport and neighbouring communities to protect community amenity and mitigate potential impact from airport growth in the interests of long-term sustainability.

The LAP identifies key strategic objectives to guide the future development and growth of Dublin Airport. The Plan will support the strategic aims and objectives of the LAP.

The Dublin Airport Central Masterplan 2016 (DAC) produced a framework for an area of ‘HT’ – High Technology zoned lands within the Airport LAP lands. Development of Phase 1 of the DAC is nearing completion. The DAC Masterplan also sets out a second phase which should only be considered when the identified infrastructural constraints in the form of road access measures and the Swords CBC and Metrolink are operational. The South Fingal Transport Study 2019 included analysis of traffic in respect of the DAC Masterplan lands which has informed the objectives contained within the LAP.

8.5  Policies and Objectives

8.5.1  The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020 (LAP)

The Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020 provides the principal development management tool for the Airport area and specifies the long-term disposition and mix of uses within the designated airport area together with infrastructural development necessary to support these uses. The LAP provides a detailed planning framework to facilitate the capacity enhancements and operational improvements that are required within the short to medium term for Dublin Airport and the LAP outlines the community, environmental and supporting infrastructure and surface access measures necessary to support the Airport’s growth. The LAP provides a detailed planning framework with associated policies and objectives relating to the future development of Dublin Airport and its environs. All future development proposals at the airport must comply with the LAP. This Plan therefore will not replicate the objectives cited in the LAP but will provide an account of the strategic priorities for the airport’s development into the future.

Policy DAP1 Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020

Continue to support Dublin Airport as a key national asset to Ireland’s economic success by ensuring that all future development complies with the strategic aims and objectives contained within the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020 or any subsequent LAP or extension of same.

8.5.2  Safeguarding Dublin Airport

As the airport grows in size and importance, it is imperative that a balance is achieved between promoting the potential of the aviation sector and safeguarding the primary operational role of Dublin Airport as the country’s main international airport. The LAP has provided a framework for sustainable development at the airport and the Draft Plan will continue to support the objectives regarding same. The LAP states that ‘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’ (Dublin Airport LAP, 2020).

In order to meet the demand forecast (as detailed below), enabling infrastructure will have to be provided and it is important that all future development proposals shall not prejudice the orderly operation and continued growth at Dublin Airport. All proposals shall take into account safeguarding associated with key operational features of the airport which include runways, taxiways, obstacle surfaces, radar and control tower sightlines.

Objective DAO1 Safeguarding Dublin Airport

Facilitate the operation and future development of Dublin Airport, in line with Government policy and the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same, recognising its role in the provision of air transport, both passenger and freight.

Objective DAO2

Safeguard the current and future operational, safety, technical and developmental requirements of Dublin Airport and provide for its ongoing development in accordance with the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same, having regard to both the environmental impact on local communities and the economic impact on businesses within the area.

8.5.3  Assisting Growth and Connectivity - Hub Airport

A key national strategic policy is for Dublin Airport to be developed as a secondary hub, which will require a significant level of airport infrastructure, terminal facilities, runway capacity and surface access. The airport is a primary contributor to Ireland having one of the highest connectivity levels on the continent relative to the size of its population and economy. The airport has 56 scheduled and charter airlines operating from the airport providing direct services to more than 190 destinations in 40 countries on four continents and is the home base for two major carriers: Ryanair and Aer Lingus. In terms of connectivity (which is essential to doing business), Dublin Airport is ahead of many other European airports of its size e.g. in the connectivity index for 2015, Dublin Airport ranked above London Gatwick, Milan, Manchester and Lisbon airports (Noise Action Plan for Dublin Airport 2019- 2023).

A review of future capacity needs at Irelands state airports was commissioned by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) in 2018 and carried out by Oxford Economics (DTTAS Review of Future Capacity Needs). 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. By 2030, the baseline forecasts show that:

  • Passenger numbers are forecasted to reach 40 million passengers per annum.
  • Air Transport Movement Forecasts (ATM’s) are forecasted to reach 265,000.
  • Air Cargo is forecasted to reach to between 150,000 and 170,000 tonnes.

Infographic 

Objective DAO3 Secondary Hub

Engage and collaborate with key stakeholders, relevant agencies and sectoral representatives to ensure that Dublin Airport is developed and promoted as a secondary hub to capitalise on the associated wider economic benefits for Fingal and the wider region.

8.5.4  Providing the necessary Infrastructure

It is recognised that there are a number of capacity constraints in the short to medium term on a range of key infrastructure to meet forecasted growth, as above. These include airport infrastructure developments and surface access and transport infrastructure. The anticipated growth in the capacity of Dublin Airport will be, to a large extent, dependent on the ability of passengers and staff to efficiently and conveniently access the Dublin Airport campus. It is important that accessibility to and from the Airport is therefore protected and enhanced. One of the most immediate capacity constraints affecting the Airport is that of congestion of the surface access to the Airport. The LAP has set out a number of solutions to resolve this matter.

The delivery of the proposed new MetroLink will further improve transportation links between the Airport, Swords and Dublin City enhancing the role of the Airport within Fingal. In addition, the focus on sustainable modes and the significant potential for walking and cycling, particularly for airport employees is recognised and is an objective of this Plan. In order to accommodate the forecasted growth, the following key infrastructure will be required:

  • Improved surface access
  • Improvements to the external road network
  • Expanded terminal capacity by way of reconfiguration and augmentation of existing facilities.
  • Completion of the north runway.
  • Expansion and enhancement of US preclearance facilities.
  • Support existing maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) and cargo facilities and relocation where appropriate.
  • Support and facilitate safe and efficient vehicular access between the eastern and western parts of the airfield to facilitate the movement of airside support vehicles.
  • Additional aircraft parking stands supported by accompanying boarding gate and aircraft piers, particularly in the context of growing the hub function of the Airport.

The provision of the identified infrastructure will support sustainable growth and facilitate the development of the Airport as a secondary hub in line with government policy.

 

Policy DAP2 Infrastructure Provision

Ensure that the required infrastructure and facilities are provided at Dublin Airport, in accordance with Dublin Airport LAP 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same, so that the airport can develop further and operate to its maximum sustainable potential, whilst taking into account the impact on local communities, the environment and climate change.

Objective DAO4

Ensure that the required infrastructure and facilities are provided at Dublin Airport so that the aviation sector can develop further and operate to its maximum sustainable potential, whilst taking into account the impact on local residential areas, and any negative impact such proposed developments may have on the sustainability of similar existing developments in the surrounding area, and the impact on the environment, including the climate.

Objective DAO5

Facilitate the on-going augmentation and improvement of terminal facilities at Dublin Airport.

Objective DAO6

Control the supply of car parking at the Airport so as to maximize as far as is practical the use of public transport and sustainable transport modes (walking / cycling) by workers and passengers and to secure the efficient use of land and safeguard the strategic function of the adjacent road network.

Objective DAO7

Require and facilitate the provision of an integrated public transport network to serve Dublin Airport.

Objective DAO8

Protect and enhance the transportation capacity required to provide for the surface access needs of the Airport.

Objective DAO9

Maintain and protect accessibility to the Airport as a priority.

8.5.5  Supporting Employment and Economic Development

Over 140,000 jobs are supported by the air transport sector in Ireland including - 39,000 (airlines, airport operators, airport on-site enterprises, aircraft manufacturers, and air navigation service); with an estimated additional 105,000 jobs supported by the air transport sector: 25,000 in the supply chain; 11,000 as a result of employee spending; and 69,000 by international tourism. It is estimated that the air transport sector support €8.9 billion of Irelands GDP. Approximately, 6.8% of GDP was supported by air transport and foreign tourists arriving by air in 2018 and spending by foreign tourists supports a further €8.7 billion of the country’s GDP.

The aviation industry is worth €4.1bn to the Irish economy along with the leasing sector pulling in €550m alone making it a significant contributor. Nine of the world’s top 10 lessors are also headquartered here with over 50 per cent of the world’s leased aircraft managed and owned in Ireland, providing employment for around 44,000 full-time workers with 5,000 of these from the leasing companies. (KPMG study, 2021). Dublin Airport and the aviation sector is one of the most important components of Fingal’s Local economy.

It is also very significant that Ireland has a highly skilled and experienced workforce, which is a key factor in attracting foreign direct investment in any country and Ireland has done exceptionally well at specialising in the field of aviation and aviation finance that has enabled the country to plan and invest in commercial, financial and technical skills while also tailoring and introducing relevant courses to meet the demand for these specific careers in Universities and colleges and has also introduced the first master’s in aviation finance in Europe.


The Aviation sector is a major employer and includes Aer Lingus, Dublin Airport Authority, Cityjet, Servisair and Ryanair. Dublin Airport is the largest employer in the region. The Dublin Airport Economic Impact Study 2019 found that total economic impact of Dublin Airport amounts to 129,700 jobs in Ireland, equivalent to 114,900 full-time jobs, earning a total €9.8 billion in GVA contributions to the national economy, representing 3.1% of total GDP. The study also identifies 89% of the direct jobs being generated in Fingal. Crucially, for every job created in the airport, four are created in the region as a direct result. It's estimated that visitors to Fingal generate a €500 million spend, which sustains a total of 20,000 jobs (one in four jobs in Fingal) across all sectors (transport, retail, entertainment and other services). The level of direct, indirect and catalytic economic benefit that Fingal can harness from the aviation sector is likely to continue to grow into the future as air travel and the aviation sector continues to grow globally and nationally.

Fingal County Council recognises the unique potential of Dublin Airport as an economic generator and major employer and will continue to support the airport as a readily accessible location for existing and future employment for Fingal residents. Notwithstanding the economic importance of Dublin Airport as outlined above, the Council must achieve a balance between promoting the potential of the aviation sector and safeguarding the primary operational role of Dublin Airport as the Country’s main international airport. While the key role of the airport is in supporting connectivity, trade and tourism, the importance of the airport in the local economy also relates to the provision of a range of employment opportunities that span a spectrum of skills levels. This is critical in bringing balance to the economy of Fingal.

Policy DAP3 Economic Development

Support an appropriate balance between developing the unique potential of Dublin Airport as an economic generator and major employer in the County and protecting its core operational function as the Country’s main international airport, in accordance with the Economic Objectives of the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same.

 

Objective DAO10

Engage with and support the daa and other employment providers in aviation uses associated with Dublin Airport to create quality and easily accessible employment opportunities for Fingal residents.

8.5.6  Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

The continuing growth of the Airport presents many challenges and one of these is the need to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the environment at the Airport. The Plan seeks to pursue climate mitigation in line with global and national targets and support the transition towards a low carbon economy by seeking to reduce CO2 emissions at the Airport. The Climate Action Plan 2019 provides an account of a number of key sectors such as transport and electricity and details the measures required to achieve decarbonization targets. Those sectors most applicable to Dublin Airport include transport, including land use and transport planning, electricity, buildings and waste and circular economy.

Increasing the use of more sustainable modes of transport for access to and from the Airport is imperative. As noted previously, the promotion of public transport initiatives and enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure will aid in the reduction of climate emissions. It is important that these modes are aimed at airport employees by providing enhanced accessibility to both Swords and Dublin City. Restricting increased employee car parking at the airport will also be supported by the Council in an effort to reduce emissions. Further large-scale developments at the Airport will be required to address carbon emissions as part of the Development Management process and waste prevention and minimization will be encouraged throughout airport facilities.

Policy DAP4 Transitioning to a low carbon economy

Ensure that all developments comply with the Climate Actions Objectives and the Circular Economy and waste Management Objectives in the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same.

8.5.7  Ensuring Environmental Protection and Sustainability

An overriding theme of the Plan is the need to protect the environment throughout the County. In terms of Dublin Airport, the LAP considers the likely direct and indirect effects of the future development of Dublin Airport on the local environment, including the communities surrounding the Airport. Noise, flood risk management, sustainable urban drainage, foul drainage and water supply, surface water quality, ground water and air quality are dealt with in the LAP, each with its own specific objectives. In addition, the built and natural heritage including archaeology and architectural heritage are examined in the context of Dublin Airport, with specific objectives relating to the protection of same. The Plan supports the objectives relating the environmental issues, referred to above, as indicated in the Dublin Airport LAP.

Noise is discussed separately below as the noise zones were subject to Variation no. 1 of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 and as such will be included in this Plan.

i. Airport Noise

Noise zones relating to Dublin Airport have been in place for many years to aid land use planning. Previous noise zones dated back to 2005 and as such it was considered appropriate to update the noise zones for Dublin Airport to allow for more effective land use planning for development within airport noise zones.

In addition, the Noise Action Plan for Dublin Airport 2019 -2023 (NAP) was prepared under the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006 and was adopted in December 2018. The Noise Action Plan is designed to manage noise issues and effects associated with existing operations at Dublin Airport and sets out a number of actions to address such issues.

Fingal County Council has been designated as the Aircraft Noise ‘Competent Authority’ (ANCA) for the purposes of monitoring Aircraft Noise levels at Dublin Airport. As such, all planning applications at Dublin Airport are referred to the Competent Authority by the Planning Authority for assessment. In assessing a planning application, ANCA must determine whether the proposals have the potential to cause a noise problem. The assessment role includes an examination of planning applications by the Competent Authority to ascertain whether they could have aircraft noise implications which require mitigation.

The noise zones relating to Dublin Airport were updated in 2019 in order to allow for more effective land use planning for development within airport noise zones. The updated policies relating to development in noise zones are set out in Variation no. 1 of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 and these will apply in the Draft Plan.

Noise Zones have been prepared in relation to aircraft noise associated with Dublin Airport as outlined in Table 8.2 below and supported by the following objectives. The approach taken in preparing these noise zones is considered to be supportive of National Policy Objective 65 set out in the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) National Planning Framework 2040, February 2018, to:

“Promote the pro-active management of noise where it is likely to have significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life and support the aims of the Environmental Noise Regulations through national planning guidance and Noise Action Plans”.

This approach also has regard for land use planning which is a component of the ICAO Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management, as set out under EU Regulation 598/2014. This approach is therefore considered also to align with the key objective set out in the Dublin Airport Noise Action Plan 2019, which is:

“to avoid, prevent and reduce, where necessary, on a prioritised basis the effects due to long term exposure to aircraft noise, including health and quality of life through implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s ‘Balanced Approach’ to the management of aircraft noise as set out under EU Regulation 598/2014”

There is a need to minimise the adverse impact of noise without placing unreasonable restrictions on development and to avoid future conflicts between the community and the operation of the airport. Three noise zones are shown in the Development Plan maps, Zones B and C within which the Council will continue to restrict inappropriate development, and Zone A within which new provisions for residential development and other noise sensitive uses will be actively resisted. An additional assessment zone, Zone D exists to identify any larger residential developments in the vicinity of the flight paths serving the Airport in order to promote appropriate land use and to identify encroachment.

Table 8.1 presents the four aircraft noise zones and the associated objective of each zone along with an indication of the potential noise exposure from operations at Dublin Airport. The zones are based on potential noise exposure levels due to the airport using either the new northern or existing southern runway for arrivals or departures.

The noise zoning system has been developed with the overarching objective to balance the potential impact of aircraft noise from the Airport on both external and internal noise amenity. This allows larger development which may be brought forward in the vicinity of the Airport’s flight paths to be identified and considered as part of the planning process. The focus of the noise zones is to ensure compatibility of residential development and ensuring compatibility with pertinent standards and guidance in relation to planning and noise, namely:

  • National Planning Framework 2040, DHPLG, February 2018;
  • ProPG: Planning & Noise – New Residential Development, May 2017;
  • British Standard BS8233:2014 ‘Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings’; and
  • ICAO guidance on Land-use Planning and Management in Annex 16, Volume I, Part IV and in the ICAO Doc 9184, Airport Planning Manual, Part 2 — Land Use and Environmental Control.

Where development includes other non-residential noise sensitive receptors, alternative design guidance will need to be considered by the developer. Non-residential buildings and uses which are viewed as being noise sensitive within the functional area of FCC include hospitals, residential care facilities and schools.

Table 8.1 Aircraft Noise Zones

Zone

Indication of Potential Noise Exposure during Airport Operations

Objective

D

≥ 50 and < 54 dB LAeq, 16hr and ≥ 40 and < 48 dB Lnight

To identify noise sensitive developments which could potentially be affected by aircraft noise and to identify any larger residential developments in the vicinity of the flight paths serving the Airport in order to promote appropriate land use and to identify encroachment. All noise sensitive development within this zone is likely to be acceptable from a noise perspective. An associated application would not normally be refused on noise grounds, however where the development is residential-led and comprises nonresidential noise sensitive uses, or comprises 50 residential units or more, it may be necessary for the applicant to demonstrate that a good acoustic design has been followed. Applicants are advised to seek expert advice.

C

≥ 54 and < 63 dB LAeq, 16hr and ≥ 48 and < 55 dB Lnight

To manage noise sensitive development in areas where aircraft noise may give rise to annoyance and sleep disturbance, and to ensure, where appropriate, noise insulation is incorporated within the development Noise sensitive development in this zone is less suitable from a noise perspective than in Zone D. A noise assessment must be undertaken in order to demonstrate good acoustic design has been followed.

The noise assessment must demonstrate that relevant internal noise guidelines will be met. This may require noise insulation measures. An external amenity area noise assessment must be undertaken where external amenity space is intrinsic to the development’s design. This assessment should make specific consideration of the acoustic environment within those spaces as required so that they can be enjoyed as intended. Ideally, noise levels in external amenity spaces should be designed to achieve the lowest practicable noise levels. Applicants are strongly advised to seek expert advice.

B

≥ 54 and < 63 dB LAeq, 16hr and ≥ 55 dB Lnight

To manage noise sensitive development in areas where aircraft noise may give rise to annoyance and sleep disturbance, and to ensure noise insulation is incorporated within the development. Noise sensitive development in this zone is less suitable from a noise perspective than in Zone C. A noise assessment must be undertaken in order to demonstrate good acoustic design has been followed. Appropriate well- designed noise insulation measures must be incorporated into the development in order to meet relevant internal noise guidelines. An external amenity area noise assessment must be undertaken where external amenity space is intrinsic to the developments design. This assessment should make specific consideration of the acoustic environment within those spaces as required so that they can be enjoyed as intended. Ideally, noise levels in external amenity spaces should be designed to achieve the lowest practicable noise levels. Applicants must seek expert advice.

A

≥ 63 dB LAeq, 16hr and/or ≥ 55 dB Lnight

To resist new provision for residential development and other noise sensitive uses. All noise sensitive developments within this zone may potentially be exposed to high levels of aircraft noise, which may be harmful to health or otherwise unacceptable. The provision of new noise sensitive developments will be resisted.

Notes:

  • ‘Good Acoustic Design’ means following the principles of assessment and design as described in ProPG: Planning & Noise – New Residential Development, May 2017;
  • Internal and External Amenity and the design of noise insulation measures should follow the guidance provided in British Standard BS8233:2014 "Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings"

The list of townlands to which Assessment Zone D applies are contained Appendix 10.

Policy DAP5 Noise

Support the actions contained within the Noise Action Plan for Dublin Airport (2019-23), or any subsequent plan or extension of same.

Policy DAP6

Protect the health of residents affected by aviation noise, particularly night-time noise.

 

Objective DAO11

Strictly control inappropriate development and require noise insulation where appropriate in accordance with table 8.1 above within Noise Zone B and Noise Zone C and where necessary in Assessment Zone D, and actively resist new provision for residential development and other noise sensitive uses within Noise Zone A, as shown on the Development Plan maps, while recognising the housing needs of established families farming in the zone. To accept that time based operational restrictions on usage of a second runway are not unreasonable to minimize the adverse impact of noise on existing housing within the inner and outer noise zone.

Objective DAO12

Notwithstanding Objective DAO12, apply the provisions with regard to New Housing for Farming Families only, as set out in Chapter 3 Sustainable Placemaking and Quality Homes, within the Inner Noise Zone subject to the following restrictions:

  • Under no circumstances shall any dwelling be permitted within the predicted 69 dB LAeq 16 hours noise contour,
  • Comprehensive noise insulation shall be required for any house permitted under this objective,
  • Any planning application shall be accompanied by a noise assessment report produced by a specialist in noise assessment which shall specify all proposed noise mitigation measures together with a declaration of acceptance of the applicant with regard to the result of the noise assessment report.

Objective DAO13

Ensure that aircraft-related development and operation procedures proposed and existing at the Airport consider all measures necessary to mitigate against the potential negative impact of noise from aircraft operations (such as engine testing, taxiing, taking off and landing), on existing established residential communities, while not placing unreasonable, but allowing reasonable restrictions on airport development to prevent detrimental effects on local communities, taking into account EU Regulation 598/2014 (or any future superseding EU regulation applicable) having regard to the ‘Balanced Approach’ and the involvement of communities in ensuring a collaborative approach to mitigating against noise pollution.

Objective DAO14

Restrict development which would give rise to conflicts with aircraft movements on environmental or safety grounds on lands in the vicinity of the Airport and on the main flight paths serving the Airport, and in particular restrict residential development in areas likely to be affected by levels of noise inappropriate to residential use.

Objective DAO15

Review the operation of the Noise Zones on an ongoing basis in line with the most up to date legislative frameworks in the area, the ongoing programme of noise monitoring in the vicinity of the Airport flight paths, and the availability of improved noise forecasts.

Objective DAO16

To encourage and promote the introduction of a noise quota system at Dublin Airport to encourage Airlines to use quieter aircraft so as to prevent and reduce, where necessary, on a prioritised basis the effects due to long term exposure to aircraft noise.

Objective DAO17

Restrict the Crosswind Runway to essential occasional use on completion of the second eastwest runway. ‘Essential’ use shall be interpreted as use when required by international regulations for safety reasons.

Policy DAP7 – Align with Local Area Plan Objectives

Ensure that all development within the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan lands will comply with the following Objectives of the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020, or any subsequent plan or extension of same. These include;

  • Flood Risk Management Objectives
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Objectives
  • Water Supply Objectives
  • Surface Water Quality Objectives
  • Ground Water Objectives
  • Air Quality Objectives
  • Archaeology Objectives
  • Architectural Heritage Objectives
  • Natural Heritage Objectives

ii. Safety

Dublin Airport’s Public Safety Zones show an Inner Public Safety Zone and an Outer Public Safety Zone in accordance with the guidance set out in the Environmental Resources Management [ERM] Report 2005. Specifically, this ERM Report provides guidance on the potential use and scale of development that may be considered appropriate within these zones.

The Council will continue to follow the advice of the Irish Aviation Authority regarding the effects of proposed development on the safety of aircraft and the safe and efficient navigation thereof.

Objective DAO18  Safety

Promote appropriate land use patterns in the vicinity of the flight paths serving the Airport, having regard to the precautionary principle, based on existing and anticipated environmental and safety impacts of aircraft movements.

Objective DAO19

Support the review of Public Safety Zones associated with Dublin Airport and implement the policies to be determined by the Government in relation to these Public Safety Zones.

Objective DAO20

Take into account relevant publications issued by the Irish Aviation Authority in respect of the operations of and development in and around Dublin Airport.

Objective DAO21

Continue to take account of the advice of the Irish Aviation Authority with regard to the effects of any development proposals on the safety of aircraft or the safe and efficient navigation thereof. To refer planning applications for any proposals that may be developed in the environs of the airport to the Irish Aviation Authority and daa in accordance with the Obstacle Limitation Requirements of Regulation (EU) No 139 / 2014 (EASA Certification Specifications), previously required under ICAO Annex 14, and which are depicted on the aerodrome operator’s map.

Objective DAO22

Have regard to the safety and environmental impacts of aircraft movements associated with Weston Aerodrome in the assessment of any relevant development proposal.

8.5.8  Prioritising Community Engagement

There are extensive residential areas located in the wider areas surrounding the Airport and as the Airport continues to grow, it is important that the impact on these communities is appropriately considered. As such, the aim is to create a balance between the further development and operations of the Airport and the needs of neighbouring communities.

Formal engagement between Fingal County Council, Dublin Airport Authority (daa) and neighbouring airport communities occurs through a number of ongoing platforms such as the Dublin Airport Environmental Working Group [DAEWG] and Community Liaison Group [CLG]. The DAEWG provides focus on the matters relating to the monitoring of airport noise, flood risk, air quality and the growth of the Airport. The [CLG] is another important forum to further engagement specifically with the local community of St. Margaret’s which is located immediately to the west of the Airport lands. This forum provides the opportunity for the Council, daa and the community of St. Margaret’s to communicate in an open and transparent manner. The key focus is on creating an engaging and collaborative forum that discusses issues of relevance to the area, particularly in the context of Airport growth and operations.

Objective DA28 of the current Plan required the preparation of a strategy for ‘St. Margaret’s Special Policy Area’ involving consultation between the existing community, Fingal County Council and daa. This has been prepared and is included in Appendix 1 of the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020.

Fingal County Council will continue to engage with local communities that are likely to be affected by the growth of the Airport.

Policy DAP8 Community Engagement

Support the ongoing and continued engagement with neighbouring airport communities to ensure that the environmental impacts associated with the development proposals are carefully managed and mitigated through land use planning and environmental monitoring and review processes.

Policy DAP9

Support the local community impacted by the expansion of Dublin Airport in efforts to prevent the fragmentation of their community.

Objective DAO23

Continue to participate in the Dublin Airport Stakeholders Forum, St. Margaret’s Community Liaison Group and other public stakeholder forums involving representatives from Local Authorities, airport operators, community and other stakeholders, providing a forum for discussion of environmental, community and other issues.

Objective DAO24

Restrict housing development in order to minimise the potential for future conflict between Airport operations and the environmental conditions for residents, in accordance with the Dublin Airport Noise Zones 2019.

Objective DAO25

Permit improvement and extensions to existing properties in the area where it can be demonstrated that such works do not represent significant intensification of development, and that appropriate consideration of potential noise impacts are incorporated within the proposals.

8.5.9  Promoting Quality Design

Dublin Airport is a National Gateway and should provide through exemplar design a visual coherence to deliver an attractive high-quality environment which enriches visitor experiences. A high standard of design provides the opportunity to make a statement, create a sense of place that defines the country’s character for visitors as they arrive or depart from the Airport. The design should be unique and specifically Irish to define it from other airports. High quality unique design should be provided in the terminals and other parts of the airport infrastructure. All areas/facilities in the Airport should be accessible by all based on universal design approach and these should be designed with long term environmental benefits.

Policy DAP10 Design

Ensure that all development within the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan lands will comply with the Design Objectives of the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan, 2020, or any subsequent LAP or extension of same.

Objective DAO26

Ensure that all development within the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan lands will be of a high standard of design, to reflect the prestigious nature of an international gateway airport, and its location adjacent to Dublin City.

Photo of Dublin Airport terminal 

 

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