The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) will not be able to deliver the full investment programme required by Dublin Airport and/or the separation of Dublin, Shannon and Cork as stand-alone airports unless the Commission for Aviation
Regulation reviews its current ‘unsatisfactory determination’ concerning maximum airport charges at Dublin Airport, according to the Chairman of the DAA, Gary McGann.
The Chairman made his comments yesterday as the DAA announced profits of E.50m for the year ending December 31, 2005. This represents an increase of 63% compared with equivalent profits of E.31.1m in 2004. Turnover rose by 13% during 2005 to E.525m.
‘The Commission's current determination of a maximum average charge per passenger at Dublin Airport of E.6.14 in real terms for the next four years compares with a current equivalent charge at principal European airports of approximately E.11 per passenger. This leaves Dublin Airport significantly under-funded at a time when it must deliver a E.1.2bn development programme at the airport over the next decade and much of its more critical and costly components over the next four years,’ he added.
McGann said significant time and effort had been expended in developing the strategic business plans required by the State Airports Act to support any government decision as to whether Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports could stand alone as commercially viable entities.
‘With regard to the implementation of airport separation, the principal objective of the State Airports Act, progress has been slow. The timeframe reflects company law requirements whereby the DAA needs sufficient distributable reserves to facilitate the transfer of Shannon and Cork Airports as a dividend, either sequentially or together. As matters currently stand, the DAA does not have sufficient distributable reserves though the Board will seek to increase their value over time,’ he noted.
Combined passenger numbers at Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports increased by an impressive 12.4% to 24.5m last year. This represented the highest level of growth since 1996. Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport totalled 18.5m, a rise of 8% for the second successive year. Shannon and Cork Airports also achieved record passenger volumes with Shannon's numbers 35% higher at 3.3m and those at Cork, 21% up at 2.7m.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus contributed most of the traffic at Dublin Airport last year, accounting for 66% of the total.