herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Passengers to gain as Dublin Airport told to cut its fees

Passenger charges at Dublin Airport are set to fall over the next five years as a result of greater numbers using the facility with the upturn in the economy.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation has published its final determination on charges at the airport which will see the cost to each passenger drop from €10.30 in 2015 to €8.38 in 2019.

Because Dublin Airport operates as a monopoly the commission monitors what it charges airlines, who in turn pass costs on to customers.

This monitoring and setting of charges ensures a fair price for the customer. The charge goes towards covering the costs of running the airport.

But the move has been slammed by the Dublin Airport Authority who said it wanted to keep charges constant to stimulate passenger growth while investing in key areas to facilitate expansion and to improve the passenger experience.

In coming to its decision, the commission said it has to protect the interests of current and future users of the airport, as well as facilitate its efficient and economic development.

Targets

"The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) out-performed the targets set in the our 2009 determination and it is now time for users to enjoy the benefits of this lower cost base" said John Spicer, Acting Commissioner for Aviation Regulation.

The commission said the expectation of higher passenger numbers means DAA should be able to enjoy economies of scale in the coming years as more people share the cost of past investments at the airport.

The determination also allows for €341m in capital investment in the airport over the next five years, an average annual spend that is 50pc higher than it has been in the last four years. And there is a further allowance to build a parallel runway, should the need arise.

But the DAA said it was disappointed with the decision.

"The aviation regulator has refused to sanction more than €100m worth of necessary improvements that would maximise the growth opportunities, upgrade older parts of the airport, and deliver the most efficient use of the airfield," said DAA boss Kevin Toland.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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