McEvaddy group offers to pay for €50m airport link

Councillors 'enthusiastic' about commercial potential of new terminal

An artist’s impression — supplied to councillors — of a third terminal to the west of Dublin Airport

Fearghal O'Connor

The promoters of a proposed new third terminal on the western campus of Dublin Airport have told planners that they will pay between €50m and €70m to build a motorway link to facilitate the project, the Sunday Independent has learned.

Dubai investment fund TriCap and the McEvaddy brothers expect to apply for planning permission in early 2020 for the phased development of a terminal that could ultimately handle up to 30 million passengers, according to sources.

The €1.8bn plan puts Ulick McEvaddy - who owns 130 acres adjoining the western side of the airport campus - on a collision course with DAA, which is planning its own expansion.

McEvaddy has previously told the Sunday Independent that the TriCap consortium is willing to take legal action to secure access to the airport's existing ramp and runway infrastructure, and the group is now consulting with senior counsel on the issue, this newspaper has learned.

A brochure distributed to councillors said that the new terminal development would provide "a long-term solution capable of further expansion in co-operation with the DAA".

The plans to build an alternative independent terminal on the western campus received a boost last week when Fingal County Council passed a local area plan for the airport that earmarks the lands owned by McEvaddy as one of the potential sites for a third terminal, should one be required.

The new 4km motorway link to the proposed terminal across open countryside to the M2 would create alternative access to the airport, avoiding congestion on the M1 and other nearby roads.

In its response to the draft local area plan, DAA had requested the removal of references to a western access route. But the local authority's chief executive said that its inclusion was "considered reasonable".

Councillors were said to be enthusiastic about the prospect of private investment paying for the new roadway and for the potential for retail and other commercial development along it, according to well-informed sources.

The brochure distributed to councillors said that the new terminal scheme would also allow for the development of a 500-acre Aviation Business Park on greenfield land in the area.

"To unlock the potential of Dublin Airport, we need to deliver world-class passenger facilities that can actually cope with future growth," said the brochure.

"The only way to deliver this is to unlock the western campus."

The brochure cited a 2018 Oxford Economics report that said building a new terminal to the west of the airport would "be easier, cheaper and less complicated to develop the core terminal and stands", and allow for "more choice for customers, airlines and businesses".

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