The new air traffic control tower has been officially opened at Dublin Airport.

At almost 87 metres high, it is the tallest inhabited building in Ireland and looms over the older air traffic control tower, which was built in 1988 and is just 30 metres tall.

It is already an imposing part of Dublin's skyline and can be seen for miles around.

The Irish Aviation Authority has said the new tower, built at a cost of €50m, creates additional capacity with state-of-the-art technology as air traffic continues to grow.

Up in the tower's cab - the glass-fronted top, there is room for twelve air traffic controllers, which more than doubles the five that were able to work at any one time in the old tower.

The 360-degree views allow for a breath-taking look around Dublin, but more importantly, it allows the controllers to have full visuals on both runways.

The northern runway will be opened by the end of the August and will allow planes to depart from one runway and land at another which the IAA said should decrease any delays in air traffic.

Liz Burke is an air traffic controller who says the new control tower is a great environment to work in because of the newer equipment, extra space, and the great views.

Liz Burke in the airport's new tower

She said the new runway will change how they operate and make her and her colleagues' jobs easier.

There are currently 100 controllers working different shift patterns with 50 support staff. The busiest times of the day are during 6am to 8am in the so-called 'departure rush' and from 9pm to 11pm when many planes arrive in Dublin.

Ms Burke said the tower has been getting busier in the last few weeks, with more than 700 movements per day, but there are procedures and systems in place to ensure each controller only has a certain number of aeroplanes they can safely manage at any one time.

She added that she gets a good reaction from people when she tells them what she does for a living.

"It is a busy job, there's a lot of responsibility, but everyone is trained to do the job and once you have the training it is not so pressurised," she said.

The new technology includes huge screens the controllers use to monitor the aircraft they are managing.

The IAA is recruiting for more air traffic controllers and is currently looking for students to come on board. Applicants need to have a Leaving Certificate, and to pass several tests. Training takes around one year and the starting salary is €40k.

The Chief Executive of the IAA, Peter Kearney, said it is an incredibly responsible job and that the training includes stress management, and to deal with the pace of the operations that are ongoing.

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He said the training success rate is about 95%.

"We spend about €200k training so once we have our air traffic controllers trained, we want to keep them, and we hold them very dear," Mr Kearney said.

Opening the tower, Minister of State with responsibility for International Travel Hildegarde Naughten said the new tower is an indication of the IAA planning for the future.

Ms Naughten said although the new capacity means an increase in air traffic, there are few environmental concerns.

"Ireland is ranked one of the top countries in relation to the lowest emissions in our air space, and that is due to the work of the IAA, the management of air traffic in our skies," she said.

"I don't think a lot of credit is given in relation to that."

She went on to say many airlines have more energy efficient aircraft, which is something she said the Government is working on, along with EU counterparts, in relation to reducing emissions

The older tower will beused as the contingent tower in case of emergency.