Dublin Airport 'may need third terminal' as Northern Ireland passenger numbers continue to rise
A third passenger terminal could be needed at Dublin Airport as soon as 2020, the Republic's Department of Transport believes.
And a department official also clarified that an upcoming review of the Irish capital's airport - which has attracted growing numbers of passengers from Northern Ireland - will not include an analysis of a new runway, which the Department said will go ahead as planned.
The airport attracted 864,000 passengers from Northern Ireland in 2014, the last year for which figures are available - up 52% on the year before.
However, Dublin airport sources have insisted that the need for a new terminal does not arise at present.
Dublin Airport opened its €600m Terminal 2 in 2010. It's designed to handle up to 15 million passengers. Terminal One could potentially handle between 20 million and 25 million, and possibly even more.
That means that existing terminals could potentially cope with up to 40 million passengers a year.
Terminal One has been significantly upgraded and expanded in the past decade with the addition of extra piers and passenger facilities.
Last year, over 25 million passengers used Dublin Airport, which was a record. This year, the figure is likely to hit over 27 million. Dublin Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe.
But despite that growth, the requirement for a third terminal is still some way off.
However, an Irish Department of Transport official insisted yesterday that given the growth at the airport, it's possible the third terminal could be required within just three years.
Dublin Airport does have a masterplan that envisages the airport's development over the next 20 to 30 years, and there is a site identified closed to existing terminals for a third such facility.
But the DAA, which controls Dublin Airport, is currently focused on building its new runway, in a project that will cost an estimated €320m.