First flight takes off from new Dublin Airport runway

The first commercial flight has taken off from Dublin Airport’s new 320 million euro runway.

he 3.1 kilometre runway began operations at noon on Wednesday with the departure of a Ryanair flight to Eindhoven.

It has been delivered on time and on budget at no expense to the Exchequer as it was paid for by Dublin Airport Authority.

The airport operator said the runway, about 1.7 kilometres north of the existing main runway, will support 31,200 new jobs and more than two billion euro new economic activity.

Junior Minister Hildegarde Naughton said the new runway will provide “much-needed capacity” and will enable Dublin Airport to rebuild and enhance connectivity to the island of Ireland.

“The new runway is a crucial piece of infrastructure which will enable Dublin Airport to expand and provide the necessary capacity to connect key existing and emerging global markets,” she said.

“I wish to commend all the hard-working staff and management at DAA for completing such a key national infrastructure project within budget.”

DAA chief executive Dalton Philips described the opening of the north runway as an “exciting milestone” for Dublin Airport and Ireland.

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People watch on as Ryanair flight FR1964 takes off (Brian Lawless/PA)

He said it was a “once-in-a-generation piece of vital national infrastructure” positioning Ireland for economic growth for many decades to come.

“The addition of north runway will further enhance the role of Dublin Airport as a vital economic enabler for Irish tourism, trade and foreign direct investment,” he said.

Construction started in late December 2016 and it was substantially completed last year.

It included building 306,000 square metres of new runway and taxiways, six kilometres of new internal airport roads, as well as installing new drainage and pollution controls, 7.5 kilometres of electrical cable, and more than 2,000 new runway and taxiway lights.

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The 3.1-kilometre runway began operations at noon on Wednesday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Around 300 construction jobs were created onsite during the construction project, with hundreds more in sub-supply firms offsite.

The new runway will be capable of servicing larger long-haul aircraft including the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A 380-800 aircraft.

The development of the north runway has been part of Dublin Airport’s long-term strategic planning and land use prioritisation since the 1960s.

It fulfils a key mandate set by the Government’s national aviation policy, by enabling Dublin Airport to develop as an international hub for leading airlines and enhancing connectivity of Ireland’s island economy.

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