With the news this month Dublin Airport is building another runway comes the inevitable questions from airlines – how much is it going to cost and who is going to pay for it?
History suggests that getting all sides to agree on the answers to these questions will not be easy. Back in 2005, the decision to construct a second terminal at Dublin Airport led to a bitter and protracted dispute between Ryanair, daa (the owners of Dublin Airport), and the Irish airports regulator, the Commission for Aviation Regulation. A change in management at daa appears to have led to a closer working relationship between Ryanair and the airport in recent years. The construction of the northern runway will be a vital test of this new friendship.
First, the cost: daa has put the cost of constructing the new runway at €320m. Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair have already questioned this figure, which is almost 30% higher than the original estimate of €250m. Ryanair has previously suggested the runway could be built for as little as €50m although, like many Ryanair statements, a large pinch of salt is required.