An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross yesterday performed the official sod-turning for Dublin Airport’s new North Runway project.
The new 3.1km runway will be located almost 1.7km north of Dublin Airport’s current main runway. Construction will take about two years and a nine-month period of commissioning will then take place. It is believed the North Runway will support the creation of 31,200 new Irish jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2043.
The Government says the new runway is urgently needed to allow for expansion to underpin Ireland’s long-term economic growth. Dublin Airport’s existing main runway is effectively full at peak times every day following a 45% increase in passenger numbers since 2014.
The delivery of North Runway is a key recommendation of the Government’s National Aviation Policy, which it hopes will enable Ireland to continue to grow as a gateway between Europe and North America.
North Runway is being built by a joint venture comprising Irish construction company Roadbridge and the Spanish infrastructure group FCC Construcción (FCC). Roadbridge FCC won the main construction contract last October, following an international tender process.
Roadbridge FCC will be working closely with daa and Fingal-based development company Empower to fill as many positions as possible from within the local community.
The contract includes building 306,000sq m of new runway and taxiways, 6km of new internal airport roads, and two new electricity substations. New drainage and pollution controls will be installed, as well as about 8km of electrical cable, 11km of CCTV cable and more than 2,100 new runway and taxiway lights.
Separately, daa is also planning a new five-year investment programme for Dublin Airport. It includes a €900 million investment in new boarding gate areas, aircraft parking stands and other improvements alongside about €200 million worth of airfield works and a €120 million annual spend on repair and maintenance and revenue generating projects.
Speaking yesterday, the Taoiseach said, "Dublin Airport is our main gateway to the world and is crucial for Irish tourism, business and trade. This new runway is part of the Government’s €116 billion Project Ireland 2040 plan to modernise our infrastructure, remove bottlenecks and enable future growth. Connectivity is one of the principles behind Project Ireland, linking Ireland to the world and all parts of Ireland to each other. More than 31 million passengers passed through Dublin Airport last year, with new routes opening in 2019 to Shenzhen in China, four locations in North america, and Ukraine."
He added, "The North Runway will allow further expansion, with connections from Dublin expected to rise by a third within ten years of opening. It’s been promised for decades. Under this Government, it’s being delivered. So, I’m honoured to be here, along with my colleague Minister Ross, to turn the sod and formally start work on it.”