Belfast Telegraph

Dublin passenger price cap reduced for 2018

By John Mulligan

Ireland's aviation watchdog has confirmed a provisional price cap of €9.59 (£8.59) per passenger at Dublin Airport for 2018, down from last year.

The provisional price cap for 2017 was €9.86 (£8.83m) per passenger at Dublin Airport, the fastest-growing airport in Europe.

That was down from the €10.30 (£9.22) maximum that was levied last year by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

The Irish capital's airport is the only airport in the Republic where passenger charges are regulated.

In 2016, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) said that Dublin Airport collected just under €273m (£244) in passenger charges, having charged the maximum €10.30 per passenger.

Slightly more than 27.9 million passengers used Dublin Airport last year and this year's figure could top 30 million. According to the most recently available figures, 1.2m journeys were taken by people from Northern Ireland from Dublin Airport in 2015 - 37% more than in 2014.

The commission sets the charge by taking into account factors such as projected traffic levels, the estimated capital expenditure planned by owners the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), as well as input from stakeholders such as airlines.

"The price cap can change if additional triggers for capital projects related to the north runway, runway line-up points, or HBS Standard 3 in Terminal Two are reached, or if quality of service targets are not met," the CAR noted.

HBS, or Hold Baggage Screening, is necessary to ensure that no prohibited items are contained in luggage that will be loaded into an aircraft hold.

An upgrade to a new standard to HBS is necessary at Terminal Two in order to comply with European regulations.

In September, the Republic's Department of Transport initiated a significant legislative change that means the Irish Minister for Transport will no longer be able to interfere in the setting of passenger charges at Dublin Airport by the CAR.

However, in setting the maximum allowable passenger charge at Dublin Airport, the CAR must ensure that the DAA's financial position is not undermined.

That has led to ministerial directions being issued in the past to the CAR, with the Department often being accused of effectively directing the CAR as to how charges should be set.

Belfast Telegraph

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