Irish firm awarded joint venture for construction of runway at Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport has awarded the main contract for the construction of its new 320 million euro runway to a joint Irish-Spanish venture.

Irish firm Roadbridge and Spanish infrastructure company FCC Construccion were announced as the winners of the bid to build the 3.1km runway.

Construction is set to get under way immediately and it is scheduled for completion by early 2021.

The contract includes the construction of 306,000 square metres of runway and taxiways, and 6km of new internal airport roads, as well as installing new drainage and pollution controls, 7.5km of electrical cable, and more than 2,000 new runway and taxiway lights.

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said its new north runway will be built at no cost to the state as DAA is not funded by the taxpayer. It is expected to create 31,200 new Irish jobs and 2.2 billion euro in additional economic activity by 2043.

DAA chief executive Dalton Philips said the authority was delighted to be awarding the contract and moving to the next phase of the plans for the runway.

“North Runway is an essential project for Ireland, as it will position the country for future economic growth for many decades to come,” Mr Philips said.

“North Runway isn’t Dublin’s new runway, it is Ireland’s new runway, and it will boost the performance of Irish tourism, trade and foreign direct investment in a post-Brexit world.”

Dalton Philips (John Stillwell/PA)
Dalton Philips (John Stillwell/PA)

Roadbridge managing director Conor Gilligan said the Limerick-based company was honoured to be part of the consortium that will build the runway.

“We are thrilled to be involved with such a prestigious and vital national project,” he said.

FCC’s UK & Ireland director Miguel Angel Mayor said FCC had a strong track record in Ireland and looked forward to working closely with DAA to build the runway.

“We have been operating successfully in Ireland for many years and also have significant experience of runway construction both in Europe and South America, having built more than 4.5 million square metres of airport runways,” he added.

About 300 construction jobs will be created onsite during the project, with hundreds more in sub-supply firms offsite.

Plans for a parallel runway at the airport were originally mooted in the early 1960s, but the first planning application was not made until December 2004. It was approved but the entire project was put on hold in 2008 because of the economic crisis.

It will be about 1.6 kilometres north of the airport’s current main runway.

DAA said it is mindful of the local community and that a sound insulation programme for homes that will be affected was already in place.

But it will be seeking amendments to two conditions attached to the project, which would limit flights at the airport’s busiest time.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has welcomed the announcement today by the DAA

Speaking this morning, the Minister reiterated that he has always been acutely aware of the dependence of the national economy on Ireland’s airports: “I remain fully supportive of the provision of additional runway capacity at Dublin Airport.

"The airport experienced its seventh consecutive year of growth last year, welcoming close to 30 million passengers, and the importance of ensuring that we have adequate capacity at our biggest airport to drive national economic growth cannot be overstated. Project 2040 recognises, at a national level, the importance of delivering the North Runway as soon as possible, given its strategic importance for the whole country.”

PA & Digital Desk

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