Dublin Airport development tipped to boost economy and create jobs

A new report published on Wednesday has said that ongoing development of Dublin Airport could add €18.6bn to Ireland’s economy.

The report also suggests investment in the airport could bring an additional 33,950 jobs over the next 15 years.

Launched today in Dublin, the report on the Economic Impact Of Developing Dublin Airport As A Hub, assesses the potential economic impact from the investment.

A hub airport is one that is served by multiple carriers and airline alliances that provide scale in routes, aircraft, crew and passengers.

Planes at Dublin Airport (Niall Carson/PA)

Aer Lingus commissioned Ernst and Young (EY) to develop the report, which concluded the bulk of the jobs, 26,990, would be generated in the tourism sector with the remainder coming from the aviation sector and other indirect jobs related to additional commerce at the airport.

EY also says during the construction phase from 2018 to 2023, an additional 1,147 jobs would also be created.

The report looked at similar successful hub airports in Dubai and Singapore who have both seen increased connectivity and economic growth, and said on Wednesday they looked specifically at Iceland, which was closest to Ireland in terms of size and scale.

The report lists a number of advantages which would support Dublin’s development as a hub, including the network carriers already operating at the airport, a large route network, short and long haul, and Ireland’s geographic advantage for Transatlantic routes.

The US Pre-Clearance at Dublin Airport was also presented as a significant advantage.

Ireland is currently the only country in Europe to have US Pre-Clearance.

Whilst Dublin Airport is a strong candidate for development, analysis found that considerable investment in infrastructure would be needed in order for it to transform into a hub airport.

The report also claims benefits for Irish passengers, including improved connectivity, and reduced average cost per passenger.

Dublin Airport is currently experiencing growth in passengers, and the report is based on the development of Dublin as a hub bringing an additional five million passengers by 2033.

An Aer Lingus plane at Dublin Airport (Brian Lawless/PA)

It is understood the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is considering proposing infrastructure development within the Capital Investment Programme for the next regulatory period 2020-2024.

These include development of a new Pier 5 in the South Apron to develop and expand Terminal 2 operating capability, a new larger centralised US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility and development of new baggage transfer infrastructure to support connections.

Stephen Kavanagh, chief executive, Aer Lingus, said: “Today’s report clearly demonstrates the very significant economic benefits to Ireland which would flow from the development of infrastructure.

“Today’s launch of two new routes; Minneapolis St Paul in the US and Montreal in Canada, is a further demonstration of our commitment to transatlantic route growth.

“Dublin Airport has a number of the characteristics of a successful hub, but new infrastructure is needed to fully realise the potential.

“We have had constructive engagement with the DAA and we understand they are likely to propose hub infrastructure development within the Capital Investment Programme for the next regulatory period 2020-2024.”

- Press Association


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