OVER the last decade Dublin Airport has established an ever-more dominant position in Irish aviation, but at the moment it can’t deal with the crowds of passengers it has.
With this in mind, Clare TD Cathal Crowe has called for Shannon Airport to be utilised to alleviate pressure on both inbound and outbound flights.
Issues with security are at present leading to significant delays for those using Dublin Airport as a terminus for their travels.
Deputy Crowe said acknowledged following a meeting with Dublin Airport Authority’s CEO Dalton Philips and his management that they were “doing everything possible” to recruit additional security staff.
Delays in the Garda vetting process and also enhanced screening measures were proving a huge impediment in terms of having staff on the ground, he said.
“I have suggested to the management that flights should be diverted to Shannon Airport, where there is plenty of additional capacity.
“I believe that Shannon could play a significant role in easing the problems that Dublin Airport is facing at this time.
“Shannon is a 30-minute domestic flight from Dublin Airport and a two-and-a-half-hour journey by car or bus.
“When someone arrives at the departure hall of Shannon Airport, they can expect to have gone through the entire security screening process, often in less than half an hour.
“At the moment, passengers arriving at Dublin are being advised to arrive three and a half hours before their flight time.”
He said the problems at Dublin won’t be going away soon.
“Dublin Airport management today advised that it could take anything up to ten weeks to achieve a full complement of security staff and this ten-week period, worryingly, will coincide with the Easter holiday break and the beginning of the peak summer season.
“Everyone in the tourism sector really looks forward to a recovery this summer but this can only happen if we’re getting visitors into our country.
“I think Shannon, and indeed other airports, can play a major role in that regard over the coming months.
“Dublin Airport management, in response to my proposal, emphasised that flight diversions would be a decision for individual airlines to determine and I now hope to take up the matter with the chief executives of Ryanair and Aer Lingus.”