by Ann O'Loughlin
Ryanair has been joined to legal actions over the extension of planning permission for the development of a new €320m runway at Dublin Airport.
Ryanair wanted to become a party to the actions because it says that any further expansion by the airline in Dublin will be limited without the infrastructure of the new runway.
Friends of the Irish Environment Group and 22 individual residents - most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret's, Co Dublin have launched proceedings against the March decision of Fingal County Council to extend a planning permission for development of the new 3,110 metre runway.
The five-year extension was sought by the Dublin Airport Authority, which is a notice party, because an August 2007 permission for the development is due to expire in August 2017.
The proposed development will be located on 261 hectares in townlands north and north-west of the airport terminal building.
At the Commercial Court today Mr Justice Brian McGovern allowed Ryanair become a notice party to actions has been brought against Fingal County Council and the State, aimed at overturning the planning authorities decision.
In a sworn statement Ryanair's Director of Operations Adrian Dunne said the airline has a significant interest in the construction of the proposed runway and consequently in the outcome of the legal actions.
If constructed the new runway will become the biggest user of the new runway which it considers key and essential to Ryanair's expansion and development.
Mr Dunne added the project would benefit the State.
It will also reduce taxi times for its aircraft thereby reducing unnecessary fuel burn, lowering carbon emissions and noise associated with increased taxi times he said.
The actions have been brought on grounds including the decision to grant planning permission is not in compliance with various Eu directives such as the Habitats Directive as well as the 2000 Planning and Development Act and is unlawful.
Those proceedings, along with a third related action taken by the St. Margaret's Concerned Residents Group are all due to be heard by the Commercial Court in October.