Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) says its new passenger Terminal 2 is on schedule for completion before the end of 2009 ” just as Ryanair has welcomed a High Court ruling last week regarding the ”badly designed, gold plated” terminal.
A spokesman for the budget carrier said that although the Court”s ruling would not stop T2 going ahead, it hoped it may force DAA to bring down costs, and therefore airport charges: ”The High Court”s decision to order the regulator to review this unlawful T2 determination, which rewarded the DAA monopoly for its profligate waste and inefficiency.
”At a time when competitive airports around Europe are developing low-cost facilities and lowering their charges, this incompetent regulator has allowed the DAA monopoly to repeatedly raise airport charges, as well as build expensive facilities which users don”t want.”
But a DAA spokesman told ABTN: ”Effectively the High Court ruled that the regulator”s decision stood ” it endorsed it absolutely, it was critical of the way in which he wrote it up, not the decision itself. Ryanair chose to suggest the Court had overturned decision, but we don”t see any threat to our funding requirements for the terminal, none whatsoever.”
”We are the lowest charging major airport in Europe ” our charges are transparent, while Ryanair never produces figures ” and we can deliver a ten-year ”2bn ($3.2bn) investment plan at Dublin, appropriately funded with about a ”2 per passenger increase over ten years - in real terms, not taking into account inflation ” up to 2015.”
The DAA reaffirmed its aim to improve the airport experience ”as quickly as possible” as it announced its financial performance. Profits for 2007 from normal trading soared from ”69.5m in 2006 to ”109m last year, a rise of 56%. A significant factor, however, was the disposal of the group”s shareholding in Birmingham Airport.
”Our key focus in terms of transforming the passenger experience is now at Dublin Airport,” said DAA chief executive Declan Collier. ”Recent erection of the first steel supports for the new terminal provides passengers and other airport customers with visual confirmation not only of the rapid progress being made, but also of the position of the new terminal relative to existing facilities.
”We are also moving ahead with a range of other significant projects to enhance the overall passenger experience at the Airport and close to ”450m, or the equivalent of ”1.5m per working day, will be invested by the DAA at Dublin during 2008,” he added.
These include a 7,500 sq m extension to the existing terminal to provide more retail space and catering facilities for passengers, more contact stands for fast-turnaround aircraft, and a new multi-storey car park and four-star hotel close to T2.
The first passengers are expected through T2 in April 2010, while the DAA said the regulator had deferred an airport charge increase decision until next year.