Published on November 30th, 2015 | by Jim Lee


Dublin Airport Celebrates Terminal 2’s fifth Birthday as strong growth continues

On 19th November, Dublin Airport celebrated the 5th birthday of Terminal 2 (T2), which has welcomed 46 million passengers, since it opened in 2010 and is now home to Aer Lingus, Aer Lingus Regional, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Delta Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines. The award-winning passenger terminal has flights to 90 destinations – 56 European, 17 in Britain, 11 in North America, two in the Middle East, two in North Africa and two in Ireland.

T2 was designed to improve the passenger experience at the airport and to help boost Dublin Airport’s connectivity. Long-haul connectivity has grown by more than 65% since the new terminal opened, while short-haul connectivity has increased by 16%.

Dublin Airport, which is celebrating its 75th birthday this year, has flights to 167 destinations. Passenger numbers are up 15% so far this year, with almost 21.5 million people travelling through the airport in the 10 months to the end of October, an extra 2.9 million extra passengers on the previous year. By 9th November, passenger numbers at Dublin Airport reached 22 million, compared to 21.7 million passengers for the full year to December 2014. This indicates a potentially record-breaking number of passengers in respect of the full year to 31st December 2015, as the airport experiences strong growth, across all major route sectors.

T2 has fuelled significant long haul growth

Dublin Airport overview

An aerial view of T2

Construction work on T2 started on 1st October 2007 and the first piece of structural steel was erected in 31st March 2008. The project was designed by Pascall+Watson architects, and the total cost was put at €600 million. At its peak, the T2 project was the largest construction project in the State, with 2,600 workers on site. T2’s first flight – an Aer Lingus service from Manchester – arrived shortly after 11:00 on 19th November 2010. Flight operations started moving into the new terminal on a phased basis from 23rd November. It is a 75,000 m² (810,000 sq ft) facility and pier (Pier E) provides 19 air bridges for aircraft and is capable of handling 15 million passengers annually. Together with the original Terminal 1 (T1), this allows the airport to handle 35 million passengers a year. Another pier, (Pier F), is planned to be built to the south of T2, when required.

Last year, Dublin Airport welcomed a record 2.1 million transatlantic passengers. There has been further significant growth in this market during 2015, as transatlantic passenger numbers have increased by 17%, so far this year. Dublin Airport is the only major airport in Europe that offers US preclearance facilities, which is a unique feature of T2. This service enables US-bound passengers to undertake all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Dublin prior to departure.

Dublin Airport’s traffic to the Middle East has also grown significantly in the past five years, with Etihad Airways and Emirates now offering double daily services to Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively.

“Terminal 2 has proven itself to be an enormous success since it opened five years ago,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison. “We have been strengthening connectivity and growing our passenger numbers every year since 2010 and the airport has also improved its customer satisfaction rating during the same period. Dublin Airport has welcomed a total of 13 new long-haul services since 2010, and has also significantly expanded its short-haul network” he added.

T2 will also have three new transatlantic services next summer, with direct Aer Lingus flights to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford Connecticut.

This summer, Dublin Airport was Europe’s sixth largest airport for transatlantic connectivity according to Mr Harrison. “Only the main European hubs of Heathrow, Schiphol, Paris CDG, Madrid and Frankfurt had more flights to the United States and Canada than Dublin this summer,” he added.

Positive traffic trends continued into October

Every month since April, has been a new record month for traffic at Dublin Airport, and October proved no different, being the busiest October on record. Almost 2.3 million passengers used Dublin Airport during the month, which was a 16% increase on October 2014. The growth in passenger numbers that month made it the busiest October in the airport’s 75-year history. The growth in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport has been reflected across all parts of the business, with strong growth in all segments of the market, from both Irish-based customers and overseas passengers.

Dublin Airport T2 passengers

October was a record month with almost 2.3 million passengers using Dublin Airport

In October, passenger numbers flying to and from continental Europe increased by 15%, with over 1.1 million passengers travelling to European destinations. This is the largest segment of the market at Dublin Airport, and is up 15% to almost 11.4 million this year.

Almost 830,000 passengers travelled to UK destinations during the month, an 18% increase compared to October last year and this segment of the market has increased by 15% to 7.6 million so far this year.

Transatlantic traffic to North America increased by 16%, with over 231,000 passengers travelling on this route sector in October, while the number of passengers travelling to other international destinations in the Middle East and North Africa increased by 15%, with almost 65,500 passengers flying to these routes in October. So far this year Transatlantic traffic is up 17% to 2.2 million, and traffic to the Middle East and North Africa has increased by 29% to 695,000.

More than 8,000 passengers travelled on domestic routes in October, representing a 31% increase over the same month last year.

Dublin Airport had 23 new routes this year and extra capacity on a large number of existing services. For the winter season, it will have about 1.5 million extra seats across its route network, which is a 13% increase in overall capacity. There are three new winter services – Ryanair to Amsterdam and Lublin and Aer Lingus to Liverpool – this year and 13 services that started during the summer season are operating in the winter for the first time.

Dublin Airport is Ireland’s key international gateway. It has direct flights to 167 scheduled and charter destinations. The airport is also a major contributor to economic activity throughout the State. A recent independent study by economic consultants InterVISTAS found that that Dublin Airport supported or facilitated a total of 97,400 jobs and contributed €6.9 billion to Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

About 15,700 people work on the Dublin Airport campus for companies such as the daa, airlines, ground handlers, retailers, hotels and other service providers, while 81,700 additional jobs are supported, induced and facilitated elsewhere in the Irish economy.

Dublin airport’s busiest year was 2008 when almost 23.5 million passengers used the airport.

Further additions to the summer 2016 schedule

Details of the summer 2016 Dublin schedules continue to be announced, with the most recent being on 25th November, when Dublin Airport confirmed that Air Canada rouge will operate a new direct summer seasonal service to Vancouver, from 10th June next year (see separate piece here).

In addition, and following Aegean Airlines announcement that it is to launch twice weekly services from Dublin to Athens, commencing 20th June and which will run until 19th September 2016, Ryanair confirmed that it is to launch a three times weekly service to Athens from next March.

daa confirms further improvements at Dublin Airport

On 2nd November, Daon, a global leader in biometric authentication and identity assurance solutions, based in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre and also in Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington DC, announced its role in delivering Automated Passport Control Kiosks to Dublin Airport in support of the United States of America Customs and Border Protection Pre-Clearance. Daon was selected from an international tendering procedure for the supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosks and their associated services/equipment in the US Pre-Clearance facility in Dublin Airport.

The APC kiosks reduce passenger processing time, facilitate more passengers being processed and enable the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) to offer more flights to the US. Following the success of an initial delivery in December, additional kiosks were added in advance of an expanded summer schedule. Daon worked with its strategic aviation partner GCR Inc. to source the APC Kiosks and leverage GCR’s expertise from multiple US Airport technology implementations to best serve Dublin Airport’s requirements.

Pre-clearance at Dublin Airport enables passengers flying to the USA to be processed for US immigration and customs while still in Dublin. This service allows passengers to move quickly to their next destination without any further processing requirement. Pre-clearance also allows airlines to access a broader range of domestic airport terminals and domestic airports in the US.

“The quality of the passenger experience is hugely important to us,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “The APC kiosk program helped Dublin Airport reduce the passenger pre-clearance time while also increasing the number of passengers we could facilitate going to the US. We were looking for a technology company which could deliver while working in partnership with Dublin Airport and align with our business planning to ensure successful operation in a very short time frame.”

Dublin Airport improvement works

Runway improvements works were carried out at night on 28/10 which were completed on November 28th.

Following the urgent short-term work on runway 10/28, consisting of pavement repairs, surveying and refreshing of paint markings, which took place between the 21st and 25th September, further essential maintenance work was carried out on the runway, commencing on 9th November. The work continued from 11:00 until 04:00 am each night, until the morning of 28th November. For operational reasons, this work, which was weather dependent, had to be carried out at night and resulted in a temporary increase in aircraft movements in certain suburbs of Dublin. No work took place on Saturday or Sunday nights, but it required aircraft using Dublin Airport to land and take off on the north/west south/east runway 16/34. The flightpath used for this runway routes aircraft over locations such as Clonshaugh, Beaumont, Santry, Killester, Clontarf and the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area.

Dublin Airport welcomes new Firefighters

On 9th November, Dublin Airport announced that it had recruited and trained 15 new airport firefighters – the first intake of new airport firefighters in almost ten years. Following a 20-week selection process, a number of candidates embarked on a 14-week intensive training course, which included basic and advanced airport firefighting skills, breathing apparatus skills and an emergency first responder course. Other classroom engagement for the new recruits included listening, observation and mathematical skills, testing speed of reaction to various incidents and the ability to keep calm and remain composed under pressure.

Dublin Airport's new firefighters

Congratulating the new airport firefighters, Dublin Airport’s Chief Airport Fire Officer Gerry Keogh said: “This is a very special day for Dublin Airport and our new colleagues and I am delighted to declare them fully certified airport firefighters”. “Training to respond to an aircraft emergency requires particular skills, which we must continually hone and test. We must be ready for the day we hope will never come,” he added.

Candidates also received training in airfield and general airport operations and were subject to continuous practical assessments and written tests throughout their training period. Dublin senior football ladies captain Lyndsay Davey was one of the 15 new recruits to graduate.

Dublin Airport's new firefighters training

Dublin Airport is a category 9 airport, meaning it must have 24,300 litres of foam capacity ready at all times, which equates to three foam tenders. The airport’s fire station has seven foam tenders each with a capacity of up to 11,000 litres. Dublin Airport’s fire crew are on call 24/7, 365 days a year.

Dublin Airport trials courtesy strollers

Dublin Airport strollers (IMG5019)On 3rd November, Dublin Airport announced that it was trialling a courtesy stroller service for passengers departing with young children via Pier 1 in Terminal 1. The complimentary buggies are available for all passengers with young children who need assistance – meaning tired little legs can have a rest. Passengers can simply pick up one of 12 strollers which are located in a colourful dedicated area at the entrance to Pier 1. There are two handy drop-off points in the boarding gate area for passengers when the strollers are no longer needed. The trial is for one month only and during that period booking is not required.

“We’re really excited about this new initiative,” said Dublin Airport Spokeswoman, Siobhán O’Donnell. “We have received great feedback so far and we are looking at other ways to help improve our customers’ experience through Dublin Airport.”

‘Joy of Giving’ store opens in the Loop, Terminal 1

The Loop at Dublin Airport has opened a seasonal pop-up store called ‘Joy of Giving’ in T1. The new store features a range of products all of which have been produced or designed in Ireland. Brands include Irish skin care range Green Angel and Seavite, candles by Rathborne and Max Benjamin, handmade sweets by Pandora Bell and Small Batch Irish Spirits by Ruby Blue. The shop also has an extensive selection of Avoca products. Customers can also choose from a number of the spectacular black and white prints by Gile Norman.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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