Minister says Dublin Airport may need a second runway soon
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said that it is likely that Dublin airport will need a second runway if it maintains its current strong levels of traffic growth.
Almost 11.5m passengers used the airport in the first six months of 2015, an extra 1.5m customers representing growth of more than 15pc.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland Mr Donohoe said if this rate of growth is to continue a second runway at the airport could become a reality.
He said: "The airport has seen a 15pc increase in traffic, we need to look at all infrastructure options in Dublin airport.
"If current growth was to continue into the future there would be a need for a parallel runway but there is a lot of work to do in that area."
Plans for a second runway have gathered steam following the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.
IAG says that it wants to boost Aer Lingus feeder traffic through Dublin by an extra 2.4m passengers a year over the next five years.
Plans for a second runway were initially shelved during the recession, however the Dublin Airport Authority still has valid planning permission for a new east-west runway.
The proposed runway, which would be located 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway, was granted back in 2007 and remains valid for the next two years.
The minister was speaking ahead of the launch of the Government's new policy for the aviation sector.
He said that the document would focus on four main policy areas: developing regional airports, focusing on safety, growing competition and connectivity into Ireland and growing the scale of the Irish aviation industry.