If 'problematic' planning restrictions on Dublin airport’s new €320 million runway are not removed, the Irish economy will lose out on a positive economic impact of €261 million to the end of 2025.
That is the gloomy forecast made by consultants, InterVISTAS in a report commissioned by daa that forms part of its planning application to Fingal County Council to have the two planning restrictions attached to the 2007 planning permission for the runway removed.
The planning conditions specify that the runway will not be used at night between 11pm and 7am and that night-time operations at the airport not exceed 65 flights on average when the airport runway is complete.
The runway is expected to be operational next year and InterVISTAS warn that if the planning restrictions are not removed there will be a cumulative loss of 4.3m passengers for Dublin airport between 2022 and 2025.
The consultants also believe that the economy could forego an additional 3,430 jobs if the conditions are not deleted.
In its application, daa is seeking that the new 3.1km runway be used between 6am and midnight and that a noise quota system, which already applies at airports such as Heathrow, Brussels and Madrid, would be used to dictate the number of night-time flights at the airport.
Daa state that last year there were on average 100 aircraft movements between 11pm and 7am before the addition of the new runway.
As part of its 41 page report, InterVISTAS contend that the operating restrictions will particularly impact on the recovery and growth of Aer Lingus and Ryanair during the post Covid recovery.
The report states that these carriers require early morning departure and late evening arrivals for their short haul operations that will be impacted by the current planning conditions.
The InterVISTAS analysis found that by 2025 with the operating restrictions, daa will not be able to accommodate growth of 24 daily aircraft movements for all airlines.
The report also contends that restricted early morning departures to Europe will hamper business connectivity and the airport’s ability to develop as a hub airport.
The consultants also caution that with the planning restrictions, air fares could increase, airlines may base aircraft out of Ireland and the range of destinations connected to Ireland will be reduced.
The daa application and InterVISTAS report has prompted the chief executive of Ibec, Danny McCoy, to intervene on the issue to tell the council that Ibec members throughout the country "remain seriously concerned about the economic implications" of the two planning conditions.
In a four page submission, Mr McCoy has warned that the direct and indirect economic consequences of the conditions "are very significant" notwithstanding the temporary impact of Covid on international aviation.
Mr McCoy stated that he agreed with the daa expert consultants that the forecasted cumulative loss of 4.3m passengers to 2025 "is a conservative estimate".
Offering Ibec’s support for the removal of the planning conditions, Mr McCoy stated that the night-time arrivals into Dublin airport are of particular importance to the efficient movement of ‘just-in-time’ freight such as pharmaceuticals and medical technology.
Operations Director with Stobart Air, Brian Horgan has told the Council that the planning restrictions imposed under the 2007 planning permission "risk creating un-necessary operational disruption at key periods of the day and will limit connectivity to the country".
Mr Horgan said that the proposals put forward by daa "represent a balanced approach for all stakeholders as they recognise the need to address noise and protect communities but also the need to protect growth potential of Dublin airport for the betterment of Ireland Inc."
Within the planning application, daa is proposing a new €7 million insulation scheme for dwellings that are most affected by night-time noise and the proposed scheme would see grants of €20,000 paid to the owners of up to 350 eligible houses.
Third parties have until February 1st to make submissions and to date, four north Dublin homes have lodged objections, with one resident voicing her support for daa proposals.
Swords residents, Claire McCarville and Niall Nolan have told the Council if you allow daa to "further increase flights it will become unbearable for us to sleep".
Colm and Ewelina Kavanagh of Swords have told the council that "the new runway will turn our lives into hell and night flights will make this house impossible to live here".
However, Clontarf resident, Michelle Keaveney has stated that "my family and many of my neighbours have lost jobs because businesses have closed at Dublin airport and because there are very few flights with Covid 19. Dublin airport and the new runway need to be able to operate freely if jobs and businesses are going to recover."
A decision is due on the application next month.