Dublin Airport has become the laughing stock amongst its EU counterparts, due to its passenger cap, according to Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary who has doubled-down on his criticism of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan over the issue.
Airport operator Daa has applied to Fingal County Council for expansion work at Dublin Airport and to widen the annual passenger cap from 32 million passengers to 40 million passengers.
In an open letter to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, Ryanair group CEO Michael O’Leary wrote: “Other EU airports are now laughing at Ireland’s “traffic cap” while they win this growth – some 15 million new passengers in 2024 alone – from Ryanair, which your inaction has lost for Ireland. If you are unwilling to implement Ireland’s National Aviation Policy as Minister for Transport, why don’t you resign and let someone competent deliver this traffic, tourism and jobs growth for Ireland?”
The letter outlined the principal goals of the Government’s National Aviation Policy as being: to enhance Ireland’s connectivity by ensuring safe, secure and competitive access responsive to the needs of business, tourism and consumers; foster the growth of aviation enterprise in Ireland to support job creation and position Ireland as a recognised global leader in aviation; and to maximise the contribution of the aviation sector to Ireland’s economic growth and development.
The letter of the Minister went on to say: “Over the past four years, while you have been Ireland’s Transport Minister, you have failed to take any action to advance the goals of the National Aviation Policy. You disappeared during the security queues crisis at Dublin in Summer 2022. You disappeared, again, while drones closed Dublin Airport on six occasions during Spring 2023, and lamentably you have failed to take any action when an arbitrary and untenable traffic cap of 32 million passengers now means that Dublin Airport and Ireland’s aviation industry cannot grow for at least 3 or 4 years while you abrogate responsibility for National Aviation Policy to a local Council in Fingal.”