Dublin Airport has commenced construction on its new North Runway project that will entail an investment of €320m.
The official sod-turning ceremony for the runway was carried out by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross.
Located almost 1.7km north of Dublin Airport’s current main runway, the new 3.1km runway is expected to boost connectivity at Dublin Airport. It will also allow the airport to continue to grow as a gateway between Europe and North America.
The new runway is part of Government’s National Aviation Policy and will help create around 31,200 jobs in Ireland, providing roughly €2.2bn in additional activity for the Irish economy by 2043.
Construction of the project is likely to be completed in about two years and the commissioning of the runway will require nine more months.
Varadkar said: “This new runway is part of the Government’s €116bn Project Ireland 2040 plan to modernise our infrastructure, remove bottlenecks and enable future growth. Connectivity is one of the principles behind Project Ireland, linking Ireland to the world and all parts of Ireland to each other.
“More than 31 million passengers passed through Dublin Airport last year, with new routes opening in 2019 to Shenzhen in China, four locations in North America, and Ukraine.
“The North Runway will allow further expansion, with connections from Dublin expected to rise by a third within ten years of opening. It’s been promised for decades. Under this Government, it’s being delivered.”
The North Runway project will be funded through a combination of airport operator Dublin Airport Authority’s own revenues and borrowings, with no cost to the state.
A joint venture comprising Irish construction company Roadbridge and the Spanish infrastructure group FCC Construcción (FCC) is building the North Runway.
The contract includes construction of 306,000m² of new runway and taxiways, 6km of new internal airport roads and two new electricity substations.
The contract also includes the installation of new drainage and pollution controls, as well as about 8km of electrical cable, 11km of CCTV cable and over 2,100 new runway and taxiway lights.
Dublin Airport Authority is also planning a new five-year investment programme for Dublin Airport.
The programme includes an investment of €900m in new boarding gate areas, aircraft parking stands and other improvements. Airfield works worth around €200m and a €120m annual expenditure on repair and maintenance are also planned under the scheme.