As many as 17,000 jobs will be lost unless restrictions on the development of a second runway at Dublin Airport are relaxed, the new chairman of the airport authority will claim today.
Banker Basil Geoghegan will use his first public outing in the role to appeal to politicians not to curtail the capital’s potential.
He will warn that plans to build a new runway will actually result in fewer flights and reduced connectivity.
In a submission to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Mr Geoghegan says that the “national importance” of developing North Runway at Dublin Airport is one of the key reasons he applied for the job.
But he will hit out at current planning conditions which will introduce an “airport-wide reduction in the number of flights during the night and first thing in the morning”.
Dublin Airport currently has about 100 flights between 11pm and 7am every day.
However, restrictions to be imposed once the second runway is completed in 2021 would cut this to 65 flights, “causing an immediate and hugely negative impact on flights, jobs and connectivity for Ireland”.
In a stark warning ahead of Brexit, Mr Geoghegan will say: “The airport could lose up to three million passengers in the first year due to the restrictions.
“By 2037 the restrictions are estimated to cost the Irish economy over 17,000 jobs – that’s a greater level of employment than currently offered by the combined operations of Apple, Dell, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in Ireland.”
Airport authorities are seeking to amend the restrictions but the new chairman believes this is difficult until they have clarity around a new system of noise regulation in the area.
Transport Minister Shane Ross recently announced that Fingal County Council will be an independent noise regulator for the area.
“However, without the enabling legislation and an appropriate amount of time, there is a real risk of the undesirable situation I outlined crystallising,” Mr Geoghegan states in a paper which has been seen by the Irish Independent.
“That would mean that despite having built a new runway, Dublin Airport would have fewer flights and reduced connectivity.”
He will add that the new runway is “understandably an important issue for some of the airport’s neighbouring communities”.
“At the same time as DAA proceeds with the new runway, we are facing potential upheaval with Brexit,” he will say.
“The new runway will enable Ireland to better compete in that post-Brexit world and it is essential for Ireland’s economic well-being that the delivery of the runway allows Dublin Airport to continue to grow.”