NBAA Lauds Draft Decision Preserving Business Aviation Access to Dublin Airport

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed a draft decision by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to ensure continued access to Dublin Airport (DUB) for general aviation (GA), including business aircraft operations.

In late 2023, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) proposed to ban nonscheduled, “ad hoc” flights to maintain total annual passenger counts at the airport under the current limit of 32 million, even as discussions remain ongoing to raise airport capacity to 40 million passengers. Such a cap would have severely hampered business aviation access to the island nation, which supports hundreds of U.S. businesses located there, and detrimentally impacted the industry’s 2,000-plus jobs and €1 billion contribution to the country’s economy.

Issued April 11, the IAA draft decision for the winter 2024/2025 travel season determined the airport’s current cap at 32 million passengers annually would only apply to traffic utilizing the facility’s two commercial airline passenger terminals, preserving GA and business aviation access to DUB through at least March 29, 2025.

In comments submitted April 22 in support of the IAA draft, NBAA noted the agency’s “pragmatic” approach in recognizing the potential economic harm such a ban on GA operations would entail.

“This [decision] allows general aviation operations, including business aircraft operations, to continue providing important economic benefits to Dublin and the surrounding region,” NBAA stated. Read NBAA’s April 22, 2004, letter to the Irish Aviation Authority.

The IAA’s draft decision follows appeals by NBAA to the U.S. ambassador to Ireland and the Irish ambassador to the U.S. regarding the threatened action. The association also worked with the Irish Business and General Aviation Association (IBGAA) and European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) to ensure officials understood the potential ramifications to Ireland’s business community and tourism industry should such a ban be imposed.

While the draft decision would exempt GA traffic movements from the capacity limit for the time being, the IAA noted that subsequent applicability “will be kept under review for future seasons,” despite what the agency conceded is the industry’s minimal impact on operations at DUB.

“[I]n any event, the question is of limited materiality in the context of volume of GA passengers, of which there were less than 18,000 in 2023,” the IAA noted.