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Cutting Dublin Airport charges a ‘disaster’ for Ireland, says DAA

The DAA said it was “hugely disappointed” after the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) issued a final determination that sees a cut to maximum passenger charges at Dublin Airport over the next five years.

But the CAR has insisted that reduced passenger charges at the gateway will still enable it to secure sufficient revenue to cover the cost of a €2.3bn capital spend, as Dublin Airport continues to expand.

The DAA, the semi-State company that operates Dublin Airport, said it will now study the CAR report and how it impacts on its capital development plans for the hub. It claimed the CAR pricing decision was a “disaster” for both passengers and the Irish economy.

DAA chief executive Dalton Philips strongly criticised the commission’s pricing determination.

“This is what happens when economic theory trumps the real world,” he said.

“This determination is a disaster for passengers, and for the Irish economy, as we won’t be able to pay for the new and improved facilities that are required at Dublin Airport,” he added.

“It is meaningless for the regulator to claim that it supports investments in new facilities while at the same time failing to provide the money needed to build them.”

Since the draft determination was published in May, the DAA has stalled projects to improve capacity at Dublin Airport.

The DAA is also deciding whether or not to appeal against the CAR’s final determination, which will see a maximum €7.50 charge per passenger apply for 2020 and 2021. The maximum will rise to €7.88 in 2022, €8.12 in 2023 and €8.32 in 2024.

The €7.87 average over the five-year period is much lower than the maximum charge of between €9.05 and €9.94 per passenger that had been sought by the DAA.

The Commissioner for Aviation Regulation, Cathy Mannion, insisted that the new maximum charges for the next five years will enable the DAA to achieve its investment and other service ambitions.

“Our decision allows Dublin Airport to provide passengers with a high-quality service, while delivering key pieces of national infrastructure which will significantly increase the capacity of the airport,” she said.

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