An amendment to the Airport Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018 by Clare Daly will have severe consequences for jobs at Dublin Airport and the surrounding communities, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator James Reilly said: “I am frankly shocked that local TD, Clare Daly, who is well briefed on the importance of Dublin Airport to jobs and economic activity in Fingal and Swords, would propose such an amendment.
“It also should be noted Fianna Fáil abstained on the amendment in the Dáil.
“The World Health Organization guidelines that were inserted in the Airport Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018 are just that, guidelines. I understand they have not been fully assessed and researched yet. They are not in operation at any International Airport in the Europe, or any other airport in the World to my knowledge.
“According to Airports Council International (ACI) the WHO guidelines will not be attained or reached by infrastructural changes at the top 20 European Airports.
“These guidelines can only be attained by severely curtailing flying activity according to the ACI report addressing the future of aviation noise.
“Dublin Airport employs over 19,000 people directly (80% of them in Fingal) and a further 98,000 indirectly in related industries. Deputy Daly’s amendments would threaten the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families in the Fingal area.
“If passed, Deputy Daly’s amendment would necessitate a massive relocation of people from areas close to Dublin Airport.
“If similar measures were enforced in other European city airports such as Madrid Airport this would mean an exclusion zone of 40km and 70km at Frankfort. To achieve the WHO guileless in Frankfort would mean 890 flights a day cut to 10.
“I believe we need a more measured approach to noise pollution. Dublin Airport is going to be even more important to Ireland as we move into a post-Brexit space.
“For every 1 million passengers an additional 1,200 new jobs are created (Dublin Airport Economic Activity Study 2017).
“Dublin Airport has thrived and grown under successive Fine Gael led Governments with passenger numbers growing from 18 million per annum in 2010 to an expected 32 million this year.
“I understand the very real concerns in certain local parts of Fingal regarding noise from Dublin Airport. That is why we need a Noise Regulator to look at best practice internationally.
“I support the appointment of a Noise Regulator, so residents and indeed businesses have a port of call to seek independent assistance if there are problems with noise pollution in their area.
“However, we need to remove this unrealistic amendment from the proposed legislation and let the Airport Noise regulators get on with designing bespoke realistic solutions for noise regulation in the vicinity of Dublin Airport and protect both people from excessive noise and jobs and economic activity in Fingal.
“I will be supporting the Minister’s amendment to remove this unrealistic proposal from the legislation, which would put Fingal Regional plans and indeed National Development plans at risk,” said Senator Reilly.