Published on September 6th, 2023 | by Alan Dwyer0
Dublin Airport Contributes €9.6 Billion to Irish Economy
A new study has found that Dublin Airport contributes a total of €9.6 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the Irish economy and supports or facilitates 116,100 jobs in the Republic of Ireland. The study, independently produced by international economic consultants InterVistas, found that Dublin Airport is a key conduit to the equivalent of 2.3% of the national economy. Of the 116,100 jobs that Dublin Airport is responsible for, 19,900 are direct, with a further 11,700 indirect jobs in firms that support or supply to the airport. In addition, a further 13,300 jobs can be linked back to the airport through employee spending in the economy, while the airport helps sustain 71,200 more jobs through its facilitation of tourism, trade, investment, and productivity.
The new InterVistas study measures the overall economic impact of Dublin Airport and considers areas such as employment levels, the wages of the people employed in airport-related activities, and the indirect benefits that flow into the wider Irish economy. The total economic impact of Dublin Airport includes activity directly related to the airport, the multiplier impacts that flow from it, and the other sectors of the economy facilitated by the airport. When it comes to jobs, 27% of the employment generated by the airport is in Fingal, with a further 21% in the rest of Dublin, 22% in the rest of Leinster, and 31% across the rest of the country. In terms of Dublin Airport’s economic contribution, 29% of total GVA is located in Fingal, with 24% of GVA located in the rest of Dublin, 20% in the Rest of Leinster, and 28% in the Rest of Ireland. Dublin Airport is a critical piece of national infrastructure that has an economic impact throughout the country.
The importance of international air connectivity is highlighted in the report. Ireland has one of the highest per capita connectivity scores in Europe among major economies – double that of the UK – and Dublin Airport alone contributes higher per capita connectivity than the UK in total. This demonstrates that Dublin Airport is a major infrastructure asset for the country and a critical contributor to Ireland’s connectivity with the rest of the world. Air cargo handled at Dublin Airport is transported to and from a variety of world regions. Cargo volumes to and from the UK have accounted for a quarter of all cargo, while the European Union has accounted for 20-25% as has the United States of America. Prior to COVID-19, the region largely comprising Asia was the fastest-growing segment, increasing from 295 to 37% of all cargo volumes.
The InterVistas report also highlights the potential future economic contribution of Dublin Airport, with scope for strong growth in both jobs and the wider Irish economy over the coming years. Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have rebounded strongly post Covid and demand for travel from Dublin Airport is forecast to grow by around 3.7% per annum between 2025 and 2030. This would see passenger numbers potentially reach 39.6 million, with forecasts predicting those numbers could reach 46.6 million by 2040 and 55 million by 2055. With the terminal capacity of Dublin Airport currently capped at 32 million passengers per annum, daa will later this year submit a new planning application that would allow for that cap to be increased to meet demand.
Commenting on the report, the CEO of daa, Kenny Jacobs said, “Dublin Airport plays a unique role within Ireland, acting as the island’s main gateway to the rest of the world and underpinning the economy at large by facilitating tourism, foreign direct investment, trade and many thousands of jobs. This new report from InterVistas highlights that without Dublin Airport, and particularly without the extensive international connectivity from the airport, the Irish economy would not be as large, affluent or diverse as it is today. There is a clear opportunity to grow Dublin Airport further, providing more jobs and more economic growth for Ireland in the process, but only if the planning and regulatory environment is able to keep pace. If Dublin Airport is not able to accommodate these opportunities for growth, it will be other major city airports – the same airports that Dublin Airport currently competes with on a daily basis for air connectivity – that will benefit instead. Dublin Airport will soon submit a planning application that would enable the airport to grow to 40 million passengers per annum, bringing thousands more jobs and billions more euro to the economy in the process. ‘InterVistas’ analysis indicates that maintaining the current 32 million cap would lead to Ireland forgoing an additional 17,800 jobs and €1.5 billion in GVA by 2030. By 2055, the number of jobs lost to Ireland would be 53,300 – the equivalent to the population of Waterford – while €4.4 billion would be lost in GVA. This would have huge implications for Ireland’s tourism sector and business community, with trade and visitor numbers being constrained. Ireland’s ability to maximise these growth opportunities, in terms of additional jobs and economic activity, would go a long way to enabling Ireland to accommodate the strong population growth that it is expecting over the decades to come.”
Speaking at the launch of the Dublin Airport Economic Impact Study by InterVistas, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers TD said: “Dublin Airport’s role as a key driver of growth in our economy and the international gateway for trade, inward investment and tourism, is clear from the Economic Impact Study launched today. As an island nation, enhancing Ireland’s connectivity by ensuring safe, secure, and competitive access responsive to the needs of business, tourism, and consumers is one of the principal goals of our National Aviation Policy. The Government supports the sustainable development of Dublin Airport as a hub airport, competing with the UK and other European airports, with the necessary capacity to connect Ireland to key existing and emerging global markets. daa’s Capital Investment Programme 2020+ will enhance the passenger journey at Dublin Airport as well as providing additional capacity to cater for demand arising from, inter alia, population growth in the region and nationally. This will include the delivery of new piers and aircraft stands and facilitate a number of infrastructure projects that will enable daa to deliver on its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050”.