The Government noted progress on the building of a new runway at Dublin Airport and reaffirmed its support for this hugely important piece of national infrastructure. Passenger growth at Dublin Airport has rebounded incredibly strongly over the last number of years, as the economy has recovered and grown, and the need for additional capacity is now clear and urgent. Dublin Airport is a key enabler for our economy, and the international connectivity opportunities afforded by a new runway are vital to future prosperity, especially in a post-Brexit environment.
Following the agreement of his Cabinet colleagues, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, T.D. has also announced the government’s intention to appoint Fingal County Council as the new independent Airport Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport. The new independent Regulator will operate in accordance with EU Regulation 598/2014, which sets out how the impact of airport noise should be managed and monitored at all major European airports.
The Minister will seek to publish a draft Bill soon which will set out precisely how the new Regulator will operate in accordance with Regulation 598/2014 and the statutory planning process, including related EU Environmental Directives.
The Bill, which the Minister hopes to have enacted by the end of this year, will provide for an open, transparent and balanced approach to noise management at Dublin Airport, taking account of the needs of local residents and the broader national interests associated with the future development of our main national airport.
Minister Ross said: “Our economy is growing strongly and the Government is working to ensure that it continues to do so. As an island economy, it is obvious that Dublin Airport has a hugely important role to play in that regard, and so its future development is of broad national interest.
Such development has to be sustainable, and so I am also pleased that the Government is supporting my proposal to implement EU Regulation 598/2014. That Regulation requires Member States to put in place a new independent regulatory regime to make sure that major European airports are developed in line with agreed international best practice on airport noise management. This is a very welcome development. It will ensure that for the first time there is a fair and transparent system for the independent assessment and monitoring of airport noise at Dublin Airport – on an ongoing basis – and that proposals for expanding future capacity and/or increasing aircraft movements are specifically evaluated for their noise impact, as well as other existing environmental impact assessment requirements.
I will be publishing a Bill later in the year which will set out in detail how noise levels at Dublin Airport are to be regulated and monitored. The Bill will also provide for public consultation and a process for appeals. As a first step, Fingal County Council will be required to carry out a noise assessment to evaluate airport noise at Dublin Airport. ”
The Minister also published today, with the approval of Government, a Policy Statement on Runway Development and Noise Abatement at Dublin Airport here.