To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the status of the construction of a second parallel runway at Dublin airport; his engagement with stakeholders in this regard; his plans to establish a competent authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In accordance with the National Aviation Policy, the Government fully supports the building of a second runway at Dublin Airport and the development of the Airport as a hub airport with the necessary capacity to connect key existing and emerging global markets.
The daa - which has statutory responsibility to manage, operate and develop Dublin Airport - was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in 2007 for a second runway. An extension of the duration of the planning permission was granted last year, for a further five years (to expire in August 2022).
Preliminary works under the first phase of construction, including preparation of the site, realignment and building of new roads, fencing and landscaping were completed in late 2017. The procurement process for the main construction works on the runway itself is now underway and is expected to be completed by Q3 2018 with construction to commence thereafter.
All pre-construction conditions attached to the 2007 planning permission were completed to the satisfaction of Fingal County Council prior to the commencement of preliminary works. This included the putting in place of a voluntary purchase scheme for dwellings, together with a property insulation scheme for homes and schools. The daa has also undertaken a range of other measures to communicate with all stakeholders, e.g. written communication, newsletters, public meetings, information sessions and one to one meetings where requested. I have also personally met with a number of residents' groups to hear their views and concerns and ensured that these concerns were passed on to daa.
EU Regulation (598/2014) concerning Noise Related Operating Restrictions at EU Airports entered into effect on 13 June, 2016. The Regulation requires the appointment of a State body – independent of the airport company – to regulate airport noise at Dublin Airport in accordance with prescribed procedures for assessing and, where appropriate, ensuring the adoption of measures to mitigate noise impacts. To ensure full compliance with this Regulation, I, with the support of Government, intend to appoint Fingal County Council as the Competent Authority. The necessary statutory arrangements are a priority objective for my Department in 2018. I also intend to appoint An Bord Pleanála as the Appeals Body for purposes of the Regulation.
It is my view that provisions of the Regulation – (including the appointment of an independent regulator, a detailed and technical assessment of airport noise, the application of international best practice noise management measures, a provision for public consultation and an independent appeals process) – represent a huge improvement on current arrangements and that full implementation is in the broad national interest and in the best interests of residents and Dublin Airport.