Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus has this week announced that it hopes to see increased terminal capacity at its main hub Dublin Airport. The announcement follows the recent opening up of the new North Runway at Dublin Airport.
Hopes for expansion
Aer Lingus Chief Executive, Lynn Embleton recently expressed interest in increasing capacity at Dublin Airport (DUB). Aer Lingus, which currently uses Dublin Airport’s newest terminal - Terminal 2, has its main hub and base in the Irish capital. Since Terminal 2’s opening in 2010, it has accommodated over 100 million passengers passing through the modern and spacious terminal.
However, Aer Lingus would like to see new stands and gates at the airport. It said in order to develop its hub at the airport, it would like to see it expand.
Dublin Airport has recently opened up new gates at the airfield. The new “South Gates” which are just south of the existing terminal and adjacent to the cargo facilities opened up in 2017. To get to the gates, passengers must get a bus. The facility hosts five boarding gates and accommodates nine aircraft stands filled up mostly with Aer Lingus aircraft flying short-haul routes.
A spokesperson for Aer Lingus has told RTÉ News that although the Easter season went smoothly, it hopes that the busy Summer 2023 season will follow suit. Last year, Dublin Airport was faced with many challenges, including long security lines and baggage handling issues. Late Summer last year, photos emerged of piles of bags in a dumpster at Dublin Airport. They were unclaimed bags and disposed of by Sky Handling Partner.
New “North Dock”
In recent months, Dublin Airport announced, alongside its partners at IDOM and RPS Engineering, its plans for a new “North Dock.” The project, which would see the demolition of seven hangers and their relocation, could see an extension of Terminal One. The new gates would be connected to the infamous tunnel connecting the main concourse of Terminal One to Pier One - the site of many Ryanair Boeing 737s.
The entire project could cost the Dublin Airport Authority millions of euros. The project is part of Dublin Airport’s Capital Investment Programme CIP 2020+. The project sees many upgrades to the existing terminals, such as drainage issues.
In a statement, IDOM Consulting said:
“The dock will have a total area of 10,000 m2 distributed over two levels, departures and arrivals areas, to accommodate a flow of 1,200 passengers, with 6 new boarding bridges. In addition, there will be office space, spaces for a future transit area and a commercial area. The design foresees the possibility of future extensions”
Where else would Dublin Expand?
In recent years, there has been some discussions and rumors of a new Terminal at Dublin Airport. With the new runway coming into operation last Summer, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) will see a massive increase in passenger numbers and demand. The new North Runway is currently not being used at its optimal levels due to the ongoing staff shortages experienced by the State aviation authority the IAA.
Strictly speaking, Dublin Airport doesn’t have a lot of flexibility for opening up a new terminal. Almost all of its surroundings are covered by either residential or commercial zones. So, building a new terminal would mean knocking down and relocating family homes and businesses.
In terms of expanding Terminal Two, it remains unclear where the DAA would add new gates. The apron itself is undergoing massive projects to widen the entrance to the South Gates.
What do you think about expanding Dublin Airport? Where would you like to see the new gates? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: RTÉ News