The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has welcomed the opening of the new North Runway at Dublin Airport as an opportunity to enhance Ireland’s global connectivity and trade opportunities, and provide a boost for the Irish economy. However, the organisation has also warned of the challenges the new runway will provide for express freight integrated services.
Night flights currently play a crucial role in the movement of goods to and from the major city airport: however, as a result of recommendations made by the Airport Noise Competent Authority (ANCA), the numerical cap on the number of flights permitted between certain hours has instead been replaced with an annual noise quota, which could impact freight services.
Commenting on the issue Aidan Flynn, CEO of said: “While these changes, which include additional night-time flying hours, will add greater flight availability for passengers arriving and departing Dublin Airport, the new regime will create challenges for the express freight integrated service providers. Night flights currently transport around €19 billion worth of imports and exports each year, with cargo night flying supporting €1.1billion in GDP and approximately 15,000 jobs. Following the changes to the way in which night flights are operated at Dublin Airport, it is critical that crucial express freight services are still prioritised for time slots that support intricate and efficient global supply chain links which rely on overnight flight links.”
Aidan also warns of access challenges: “Express services are located on the west apron at Dublin Airport: the opening of the new runway has blocked the direct access to these terminals and support services, as the West Apron Surface Crossing has been closed. Closure of the direct access to the freight operators’ airside operations will create significant logistics issues that are not easily resolved. Logistics operations already face significant time pressures in loading and offloading flights and efficiency is key. The previous access to the airport enabled loading and unloading to take place in approximately 10 minutes; the new proposed route along the north perimeter road is 8km long and will take over 30minutes for each journey. FTAI is calling on Dublin Airport Authority to expediate the development of the promised underpass and review the necessary standard of support services, including office accommodation.”
The Irish Exporters Association also welcomed the development – Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association commented: “Connectivity is crucial for all exporting businesses based in Ireland. The opening of the new runway at Dublin airport helps to greatly expand Ireland’s global reach with the potential for new direct routes to far-flung markets. The servicing of larger long-haul aircraft via this runway will help increase Ireland’s standing as a hugely attractive place for FDI. The increase in Ireland’s international brand will also support Irish exporters in greater market diversification.”