Investigation into Dublin Airport plan to buy car park set to take a year

Competition body is investigating after flagging concerns that the proposed deal for Santry car park could reduce competition

An investigation into competition concerns over Dublin Airport’s efforts to buy a new car park is set to take a full year from the time the sale was first proposed, despite high demand for parking at the airport.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has issued a preliminary assessment of the proposed sale, flagging concerns over its potential to reduce competition.

DAA, which runs the airport, informed the commission of its intention to buy the 6,200-capacity Santry car park last March.

In an update statement issued by the CCPC this week, it said its full investigation is likely to be completed no later than March 2024.


Last May and June, DAA management was forced to warn passengers departing the airport at the beginning of the summer holiday season that its car parks were fully booked.

It followed the closure of the privately run Quick Park facility near the airport that it is now attempting buy.

Its closure resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in parking near the airport, leading to high demand for the airport’s own 23,000 spaces.

In July, residents living in the nearby suburb of Swords complained of cars parking in housing estates.

DAA is restricted from developing new parking facilities but has said that if successful in its bid, it would reopen the former site in a matter of weeks.

A preliminary assessment of that deal has now been sent to concerned parties.

“The assessment sets out the CCPC’s preliminary concerns about how the proposed acquisition could reduce competition in the provision of public car parking spaces in the vicinity of Dublin Airport,” it said in a statement.

However, the assessment is not a final decision and the concerned parties, including DAA, now have the opportunity to respond in writing or to make oral submissions.

After the CCPC was notified of the proposed purchase last March it deemed a full investigation necessary.

In response, DAA said its primary objective was to have more car parking spaces available to the public.

“DAA will now prepare a detailed response, which will address the assessment in full, as is normal in such circumstances to help the CCPC reach a final decision,” it said.

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Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times