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Dublin Airport ordered to reduce night-time flights

The operator of Dublin airport, Daa, has been given six weeks to comply with the planning permission for the night-time summer flight schedule for the airport’s new north runway.

The Planning Authority at the council investigated alleged breaches after the opening of the airport’s north runway last year prompted a series of noise complaints from nearby residents.

The council has also ordered the Daa to pay €350 to cover the cost of its investigation.

Fingal County Council found the summer schedule is in breach of a limit agreed by An Bord Pleanála.

Daa chief executive Kenny Jacobs said the restriction would mean fewer night-time flights than the number before the new runway was opened.

He called for a noise quota system to replace the flight cap as a way to manage traffic at night. Mr Jacobs said the quota model was the industry standard approach for large airports.

In a statement, Daa say it is “disappointed” by the decision to give six weeks notice to reduce the number of night flights to a maximum of 65 between 11 pm and 7 am.

It wants the local authority to suspend what it calls these “overly onerous conditions”.

Dublin Airport’s €320m North Runway, officially opened in August 2022.

The Daa said: “An enforcement order, in the middle of the peak summer holiday season, comes despite the fact that Fingal County Council has already confirmed that having a cap on the number of night flights is no longer a fit-for-purpose way of determining how many flights should operate at nighttime.

“Given the reason the current planning application has not been fully adjudicated on is due to repeated delays to statutory processes and planning decisions,” it said.

In a statement, the Planning Authority at Fingal County Council said: “In response to complaints received about an alleged breach of condition five of the planning permission for the north runway (Planning Authority Reg Ref No: F04A/1755 / ABP Ref No: PL 06F.217429) in relation to night-time flights at Dublin Airport, the Planning Authority has carried out an investigation under Section 153 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).

“Further to this investigation, the Planning Authority has made a decision to serve a planning enforcement notice, in accordance with Section 154 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), and issued an enforcement notice, dated July 28, 2023, requiring the Daa to conform with condition five within six weeks of the date of the notice, so that the average number of night-time (between 2300 hours and 0700 hours) aircraft movements at the airport is 65 aircraft movements per night or less – when measured over the 92-day modelling period.”

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