Dublin Airport has been given permission this week to create paid drop-off and pick-up zones around terminal buildings.
From as soon as the middle of the year, motorists picking up and dropping off passengers will be hit with a charge.
The Dublin Airport Authority have said that the charge is part of their ‘sustainability agenda’ but this has been challenged by local Green Party Councillor.
“Clearly this new charge is more money making that planet saving,” said Green Party Councillor for Swords Ian Carey.
“I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that drop off or pick up charges, that are being proposed, will lead to people using public transport or cycling when getting to the airport.
“This is just another way of the airport opening up a new revenue stream – after they saw the success of similar measures in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
“What I would like to see from Dublin Airport is higher ambition on emission reduction and not just in its land operations but aircraft emissions too.
“There is so much that could be done air side to deliver meaningful emission reductions. How and when aircraft take off and land can have a big impact on emissions, they should start there. The DAA also need to start investing in sustainable fuel infrastructure, they could promote the use of more efficient planes, and they could work with airlines to stop the practice of ghost flights. It was recently revealed that 100,000 empty flights crossed Europe during the pandemic, for contractual reasons. That’s the equivalent of 1.4m more cars on the roads.
“I also worry about the way the DAA have stated the funds will be ringfenced for sustainability measures. If the airport is to become carbon neutral by 2050 it will need to invest far more than what this charge is ever likely to take in. In 2019 the airport made profits of €133m after tax so they have the means to invest without passing on costs to the public.”
The operation of the paid drop-off and pick-up zone is based on Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras with plates read at entry and exit and the charge is dictated by the time spent by the driver in the drop-off zone.
The DAA have not yet revealed how much the charges will be but similar airports in the UK are currently charging between £1 and £5.
A free drop off zone will be provided at the Red Long Term car park but passengers getting out there will have to use the shuttle bus.