Construction of a new €50m air traffic control tower at Dublin Airport could start by next March after the Irish Aviation Authority invited preliminary tenders this week for the huge project.
The 87-metre high tower, which will be built at the same time as the €320m new runway project, is expected to take 18 months to construct.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has told prospective bidders that it expects to award a contract later this year.
But a spokesman said that no firm order will be placed until the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) starts work on the runway.
The tower will comprise a 17-storey shaft with a control room sitting on top. There will also be an adjacent base building on the ground.
The tower, seen above in an artist’s impression, will be completed before the new parallel runway is finished in 2020.
Initial enabling work for the runway project – which includes a number of ancillary elements such as taxiways – is slated to get underway later this year.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has said that he’s opposed to a second control tower being built at Dublin.
The IAA argues that the second tower is required to handle increased traffic and to ensure continued safety.
Dublin Airport handled 25 million passengers last year and is on track to handle about 27 million this year.