herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Dublin Airport plans 'not safe', claim pilots

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport
Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport

Safety concerns have again been raised by the Irish Airline Pilots Association over a planned expansion at Dublin Airport.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has strongly rejected what it called "false claims" by the pilot's association, which has lodged a second appeal to An Bord Pleanala over a new transfer facility at the airport.

In their appeal, Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA), which represents some 1,200 pilots, says plans to add a new transfer facility at Terminal 2 (T2) will "compromise" the safety of transit facilities.

The plan does not "adequately protect staff and passenger safety", IALPA told An Bord Pleanala.

The pilots' association also raised concerns about the development of Dublin Airport, saying that because T2 was "an infrastructural wedge into the south-eastern corner on the eastern campus" it has limited scope to expand "apron space".

Apron space area refers to where aircraft are parked, loaded and unloaded, refuelled, and boarded.

"It's [our] view that this proposed transfer facility is in the wrong location and disrupts current apron operation," the objection reads.

"The solution lies with a westerly extension to the existing T2 transfer facility. It's both practical and logical because it centralises passenger transfer from T1 and T2," the association added.

Passengers

Responding to the claims, a Dublin Airport spokesman told the Herald that "the safety and security of passengers and staff is Dublin Airport's key priority at all times".

"We completely reject IALPA's false claims in relation to this development," he added.

It is IALPA's second appeal on the DAA's proposed expansion at Dublin Airport, which has been approved by Fingal County Council.

Last month, the pilots' union claimed that a plan to introduce remote stands at T2, allowing passengers to be bussed to aircraft positioned away from T2 was "fraught with safety compromises".

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