DAA seeks permission to expand US customs and border facility at Dublin Airport

Close to 1.7 million US-bound passengers will avail of CBP facilities at airport in 2023

The operator of Dublin Airport is to lodge plans in the coming days for an expansion of its existing US Customs Pre-Clearance and Border Protection facility (CBP) to cater for an increasing number of US-bound passengers.

DAA is to also seek planning permission for the partial demolition, refurbishment and upgrade of an existing landside building to become the South Apron Support Centre (SASC) at the airport.

Close to 1.7 million US-bound passengers will avail of CBP facilities at Dublin Airport in 2023 and the new application to be lodged with Fingal County Council forms part of DAA’s €1.9 billion capital investment plan for the campus.

The CBP facilities at Dublin and Shannon airports allow US-bound passengers to undertake all US immigration, customs and agriculture inspections at the airports before departure.


The CBP facilities at Dublin and Shannon airports give the airports a competitive advantage over most other airports operating services to the US.

Passengers who use pre-clearance at the airports are treated as domestic arrivals on entering the US, allowing them to avoid immigration queues on landing. They can just pick up their bags and go.

The new three-storey CBP building for Dublin would include five entry “e” gates and eight screening lanes.

A DAA spokesman said on Monday that the refurbishment of the proposed SASC building would occur first and was expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024 and be completed in the fourth quarter of that year.

“With the support of the SASC in place, construction of the CBP extension is then expected to take just over two years. The CBP phasing strategy will involve eight phases for the reconfiguration and expansion of the existing building to ensure no impact on existing airport operations,” he said.

“The existing CBP facility requires immediate expansion to accommodate the current number of people taking advantage of the facility to pre-clear US immigration at Dublin Airport, the fifth largest transatlantic hub airport in Europe.”

The spokesman stressed that the proposed developments at the existing CBP and SASC buildings would “not result in any increase in passenger capacity at Dublin Airport”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times