Dublin Airport announces plan to tackle delays ahead of Easter break

Lengthy queues have sparked concern from government and complaints from passengers
Dublin Airport announces plan to tackle delays ahead of Easter break

Rebecca Black and Cate McCurry, PA

Dublin Airport has announced a plan to tackle delays ahead of the busy Easter break.

The five-point strategy comes after lengthy queues sparked concern from the Government and complaints from some passengers that they had missed their flights.

The queues were attributed to delays at security screening during peak times.

The airport said it had been trying to rebound from the impact of the pandemic and blamed shortages in fully trained staff working at the airport.

In a statement, Dublin Airport said the plan included measures used recently to address delays, which they described as successful, adding that over the past 10 days none of the 300,000 passengers who had departed out of Dublin Airport had missed a flight due to security queues.

But with the busy Easter period coming, they advised passengers to arrive at the airport a minimum of three-and-a-half hours prior to their departure time.

Measures being taken include the recruitment and training of a “significant number” of additional security screening staff, deployment of a task force, a targeted communication campaign and keeping security in Terminal 1 open 24/7 to reduce the build-up of queues.

There have been calls for the Defence Forces to be called in to help.

But Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said he was “not very keen” on the idea of deploying troops at the airport.

Simon Coveney, who said no formal request had been made for the Defence Forces to help with the delays
Simon Coveney said no formal request had been made for the Defence Forces to help with the delays (Brian Lawless/PA)

Earlier, he said that no formal request for members of the Defence Forces to help with the lengthy delays had been made.

“Our Defence Forces are busy, they’re asked to do a lot outside of core defence,” he said.

“But there is no formal request and has been no formal request for the army to be part of the solution in Dublin Airport.

“I know that the DAA are working hard to ensure they can get more efficiency and faster throughput through the security checks in the airport but as of now there is no formal ask of me as Minister of Defence or of my department in terms of the assisting on that.”

The junior transport minister Hildegarde Naughton said she was having daily meetings with the DAA in relation to the contingency measures.

She said the measures had been put in place since last weekend, which had led to “huge improvements” in the management of queues.

 

“They have redeployed staff, they have 600 non-frontline staff now on the frontline helping to manage queues and there’s greater throughput of passengers, so they are managing this situation very well,” Ms Naughton added.

“But those daily meetings will continue, I have a further one this evening.

“There’s no formal request, as Mr Coveney has said, in relation to the army, the DAA suggested potentially involving the Defence Forces at earlier meetings, but there’s no such request or plans in place for that.

“They are engaging in an intensive recruitment campaign this week as well to increase staffing numbers.

“We will be watching this very carefully and we are absolutely working hand-in-hand with the DAA in relation to ensuring that passengers and our citizens who have had two years of pandemic can get away over holidays safely.”

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