Second terminal for Dublin Airport to get green light

THE Government is set to give the go-ahead to the building of a second terminal at Dublin Airport before the summer.

But the independent terminal will actually result in an increase in charges at the airport, in spite of the introduction of competition to Aer Rianta, according to an expert report.

Transport Minister Seamus Brennan will bring forward definite proposals to the cabinet in April or May following the completion of a consultants report supporting the proposed new privately operated terminal.

The report’s publication in the coming days will also be watched closely by management and staff at Cork and Shannon airports as the development of the terminal may well damage their potential to generate extra business.

The consultant’s report stating that proceeding with the second terminal will be viable and beneficial was discussed at yesterday’s cabinet meeting.

But the report says that airport charges will rise as developers will want a return for their investment and Aer Rianta’s commercial revenues used to subsidise the charges at present will fall. And it will also take at least four to five years from tendering to have the terminal opened.

But Mr Brennan is optimistic that the development will ultimately bring charges down and he is now consulting with unions and other interested parties on the matter.

Airlines have supported the new terminal while Aer Rianta is believed to be opposed to the development. Passenger numbers at Dublin airport are expected to treble to €42 million over the next 20 years.

Aer Rianta said last night that it is awaiting the publication of the report and the ministers decision on it.

“It is a strategic decision for the government but we expect to be part of the consultation process,” a spokesman said.

The report was conducted by Paddy Mullarkey, a former high-ranking civil servant and aviation experts Gilbert Thompson from Britain and Paul Gains from the United States.

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