Dublin Airport runway flight path changed to spare communities from ‘intolerable’ noise

Residents accused DAA of operating paths not in keeping with regulatory approval

A change to the flight path from Dublin Airport’s new north runway is due to take planes away from communities that had complained of intolerable engine noise from unanticipated aircraft flying over homes.

DAA, which runs the airport, said the development would now align the route “more closely with the information previously communicated” regarding its direction.

In recent months, residents from several areas in north county Dublin had accused the airport of operating paths not in keeping with regulatory approval.

Flights had taken off and quickly banked right, taking them over towns and communities at relatively low altitudes causing considerable noise disruption.


The new change should alter that, but residents are understood to be reserving judgment until they come into effect on February 23rd.

DAA had previously apologised for the situation which, it said, had resulted in “some local communities being unexpectedly overflown”.

A subsequent review of departure flightpaths concluded that so-called Standard Instrument Departures (SIDS) required updating to bring them in line with previously anticipated routes.

“The revised SIDS were required to go through regulatory review and consent processes before they could be implemented, and I am pleased to advise that they have now been approved,” a spokesman said on Thursday.

“In the interim weeks, the continued use of the current SIDS is necessary, but we will ensure there are no departures off North Runway before 9am during that period.”

The announcement is unlikely to satisfy affected residents, many of whom remain sceptical due to ongoing noise issues and what they describe as previous difficulties in engaging authorities.

David Walton of the Ballyboughal Community Council in north Dublin said there was insufficient information regarding the newly published flight path alteration and that residents would not be satisfied until they saw the effects for themselves.

“We’re just not happy ... how did we get to this situation? It’s been operating for four months. We still are getting bombarded with aircraft noise every couple of minutes,” he said.

“We would like to see a change but we’d like to see the current use of the runway go back to the way it was before [the north runway opened last August] until they can actually put the plan in place because they are clearly operating outside their planning permission.”

Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell posted on social media that the altered route would mean aircraft would now turn 30 degrees after take off rather than 70 degrees, a change “expected to conform with what was originally expected during the planning process”.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times