Army to be on standby at Dublin Airport from Wednesday

The plan will be triggered if more than 20 per cent of airport security staff are out of work with covid-19.
Army to be on standby at Dublin Airport from Wednesday

Amy Blaney

From Wednesday, the Defence Forces will be on standby at Dublin Airport in the case of any security staff shortages.

The six-week emergency plan is aimed at preventing flight cancellations and reducing long queues during the busy summer holiday season.

Members of the Defence Forces will be on standby from from July 6th to August 15th.

The plan will be triggered if more than 20 per cent of airport security staff are out of work with covid-19.

The union representing security staff at the airport met with the DAA on Friday following complaints that security staff would not work alongside the army if drafted in.

The union confirmed, under the circumstances of a covid-19 outbreak among staff, security staff will not be asked or required to work alongside the Defence Forces or to train them.

Niall Phillips, SIPTU aviation sector organiser, said: “During the meeting, clarifications and commitments were given in relation to several issues of importance to our members. The contingency plan is specifically Covid related and will be triggered in the event of a spike in infections among airport security officers and where the related absenteeism exceeds 20 per cent of scheduled staff.

“In the event of the contingency plan being activated, all vehicle control posts (VCP) officers would be deployed into the terminals to support the screening of passengers and to ensure that travel disruption is kept to a minimum.

“At no time will our members in VCP be asked, or required, to work alongside Defence Force members or to train them. The daa has put in place alternative arrangements for the training of Defence Force personnel which do not involve our members.

“The contingency plan will be in place for a limited period, from 6th July until 15th, August, 2022. Following activation and completion of the contingency plan, our members will revert to normal operations and will immediately revert to their allocated roster in VCP.

“The daa confirmed that there is no threat to the jobs of our members and that this is not a first step in outsourcing VCP. The daa has agreed to keep SIPTU appraised of Covid related absenteeism levels among ASU staff.”

Meanwhile Aer Lingus has cancelled eight flights on Monday in and out of Dublin Airport as a result of a covid outbreak among staff.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more