Councillor slams Dublin Airport plans to install new paid drop-off and pick-up zones as "money grab" 1 month ago

Councillor slams Dublin Airport plans to install new paid drop-off and pick-up zones as "money grab"

A previous application to install new paid zones was rejected.

A councillor has hit out at plans to install new paid drop-off and pick-up zones at Dublin Airport, calling it a "money grab".

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It comes as the airport's operator the DAA submitted a planning application to Fingal County Council to install the new zones at Terminal 1 and 2.

In a statement to JOE, the DAA said the operation of the paid zones would be based on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Vehicle registration plates would be read at entry and exit and the charge would be dictated by the time spent by the driver in the zone.

The DAA said the new scheme will result in more efficient egress and access arrangements at Terminals 1 and 2.

It also stated that the aim of the new system is to reduce car journeys to and from the airport and to encourage passengers to make greater use of public transport.

As part of its sustainability agenda, the DAA said all revenue generated from the new system will be invested in sustainability initiatives at the airport.

These include a proposed solar farm, the conversion of the airport's shuttle bus fleet from diesel to low emission vehicles and the installation of more electric vehicle charging points.

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The DAA also said a free drop-off and pick-up option will continue to be available after the new zones have been introduced at a new dedicated area in the Express Red long-term car park which has a free waiting time of two hours.

Currently, private cars are permitted to drop off in front of both terminals at Dublin Airport, but no private vehicle pick-up is permitted in these locations.

The DAA has said there will be a special provision for people with reduced mobility and that the existing Person of Reduced Mobility (PRM) spaces on the departure road will remain.

However, speaking to Newstalk's Lunchtime Live on Thursday, Independent councillor for Swords Joe Newman stated he would be objecting to the plans.

"I'll be objecting to it again, as I did before. I think it's outrageous that the DAA are introducing this charge," he stated.

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"I often drop people to the airport and this will affect people dropping off maybe the elderly and people with disabilities and it will make it more awkward for them to access the terminals."

Newman said he believes the plans are "just a money grab," adding: "The DAA make plenty of money from their car parking and the system is working quite well at the moment."

He said that if there was to be a charge, there should be a window of at least 15 minutes for people to drop off and to collect people.

"It's not too easy to collect people from the airport with the departure times and arrival times," he explained.

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"You never know what time people are coming in at, so it can be very expensive.

"I will be fighting for people in the locality. We've already got carbon tax coming in, we'll be paying through the nose for driving up."

The new system will not be introduced until the project receives approval from planning authorities. Construction, subject to planning approval, will take place in 2022.

This is the second attempt by the DAA to introduce the paid zones, following planning permission being refused in February.

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