RUNWAY SUPPORT BUT NEIGHBOURS CONCERNS ‘VALID’
THE Fianna Fáil leader has told the Fingal Independent that he is backing the development of a new runway at Dublin Airport be he said ‘controls’ must be in place to minimise the disruption from the runway to its neighbours.
Commenting on local residents concerns over attempts to overturn planning conditions restricting night-time flying from the runway, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin TD told the Fingal Independent: ‘The concerns are reasonable and valid and the airport has to be cognisant of its neighbourhood and the quality of life of people in neighbourhoods around the airport.’
But the Fianna Fáil leader recognises the airport’s importance to the economy of the region and beyond and said: ‘The airport is a huge success economically and we are going to see 30 million passengers there this year and that is phenomenal.
‘In many ways it has been a key enabler of Dublin’s success economically. We, in our time, put huge investment in the airport in terms of the new terminal which we got a lot of criticism for at the time but now it is bursting at the seams.
‘We were told we would never get the numbers we were suggesting but it has been a singular success. I think the new runway is needed, however the controls have to be there, particularly at night in terms of noise and disruption to neighbours.’
Deputy Martin criticised the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross TD for his ‘lethargy’ in implementing a new noise control regime for Irish airports by appointing a competent authority to administer the new regime. That authority would ultimately make the decision whether or not to allow night time flying from the new runway, something which neighbours of the airport oppose but the daa says is crucial to the viability of the new infrastructure.
The Fianna Fáil leader said: ‘I think there has been terrible lethargy on the issue from Shane Ross - he’s not making decisions.’
He added: ‘The fact that he has made no decision is just incredible - he seems to be ducking and diving on the issue.’
Deputy Martin who was on a visit to Fingal said two issues he hoped to discuss with locals that were a problem for the region and the country as a whole were housing and health.
He said a lot of people in Fingal were on waiting lists for social housing and for health care and both issues needed attention from Government. He called for an increase in ‘affordable’ property as well as reforming social housing delivery which he called ‘overly bureaucratic’.
On the hospital waiting lists, he said: ‘There are plenty of areas where we are going to keep the heat on the Government. We did secure certain developments in the budget, the Treatment Purchase Fund being one, to try and get the waiting lists down but we will keep at it.’
The proposed Runway North was discussed by Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin.
The former Rush Garda Station.