Green Party Representatives Oppose Expansion of Night Flights at Dublin Airport

2nd March, 2022

Green Party representatives for Fingal have outlined their objections to a proposal that night-time flights at Dublin Airport be expanded through an amendment to planning conditions for the North Runway project.

The objections were lodged as part of the Aircraft Noise Competent Authority’s (ANCA) public consultation on their Draft Regulatory Decision on the planning application.

Minister Joe O’Brien TD, Cllr Ian Carey, and Ciarán Cuffe MEP, as Green Party representatives for some of the areas that will be impacted by the proposals, raised their concerns.

Speaking today, Minister O’Brien said:

“The proposed changes to this planning permission represent a significant increase in the hours and quantum of noise from aircraft that local communities will have to contend with. Everyone should be entitled to a full night’s sleep without disturbance – it is essential to human health and wellbeing.

There is an extensive and increasing body of scientific evidence demonstrating the negative effects of night-time aircraft noise on human health. It is wholly inappropriate to prioritise the limited economic benefits of expanded flight hours ahead of the wellbeing of ordinary people.

The proposal is particularly unnecessary in the context of our national commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% this decade. Continued expansion in the number of flights is fundamentally incompatible with the necessary changes we need to make to address climate change.”

Swords Cllr Ian Carey said:

“2019 was the noisiest year on record at Dublin Airport and as such was an outlier in the context of noise and its impact on the local community. To set an outlier as the baseline is not reasonable and will lead directly to a significant increase in aircraft noise around Dublin Airport in the short to medium term.

We need to start reducing airport noise from a level that represents a fairer reflection of the situation at Dublin Airport in recent years. An average of the noise level over the last five years of full operation at the airport would be a more reasonable starting point. The Noise Abatement Objective should be adjusted to remove 2019 as the comparison year and a figure that represents the average of the last five years of operation of the airport should be put in its place.”

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP said:

“The health consequences of noise pollution have been recognised at EU level for decades now, and European Directives reflect this. Ireland must not jeopardise its reputation by falling short of the standards already established in international law.”

Minister O’Brien concluded:

“I believe the proposed amendments to the planning conditions would have a significant negative effect on the health and wellbeing of people in Swords, Malahide, Portmarnock, and other areas close to Dublin Airport. In the context of an imperative need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, there is little justification for threatening the health of ordinary people in this way.”