The Dublin Airport Authority has said that “significant improvements” made at the airport to reduce pressure on the system are “achieving their desired results” amid a strong return to air travel.
He said that despite most flights running on time, the spike in Covid-19 cases resulted in “staffing shortages” for some airlines and baggage handling crew, leading to flight cancellations and airline check-in desks and bags. was delayed. drop areas.
“While issues related to flight cancellations and delays, or lost, are outside the purview of the DAA, we sympathize with those affected and are sorry for the impact on their passenger experience,” it said.
It said baggage is an issue throughout Europe, the US and Canada and it is liaising with affected airlines regarding baggage issues.
Contingency planning now remains prudent to train and put Defense Forces personnel on standby in case we experience significant COVID-19 related absenteeism in security operationsda
The statement comes amid pressure on airlines and airports across Europe after job cuts during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis and demand for travel return after two years of pandemic restrictions.
Representatives from the Dublin Airports Authority (DAA) appeared before an Orchatas committee in early June to outline their plan to deal with the heat wave, with Higher Education Minister Simon Harris warning that if the airport authority does not If found, there could be consequences for the management to catch up with the boom in demand.
Last week, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan received cabinet approval for defense forces personnel to be on standby to help airport staff in the event of the COVID-19 outbreak. This measure is to be discontinued in August when the busy holiday period has passed.
The DAA issued an update on Monday saying its plan for the summer surge has been in effect, but the defense forces are ready to help.
“The contingency plan now to train and keep Defense Forces personnel on standby remains prudent in case we experience significant COVID-19-related absenteeism in security operations,” it said.
“The contingencies include the training of Defense Forces personnel for duties at vehicle control checkpoints at Dublin Airport, only when they are needed. While they will be on standby, the deployment of defense forces personnel will be started only when eventually required due to the outbreak of COVID-19. ,
Since Friday, when the school summer holidays began, the DAA said more than 420,000 passengers traveled through Dublin Airport – with 50,000 to 56,000 departing each day.
The DAA said most passengers (93% of over 900,000) are getting through security checks in less than 45 minutes.
“Compared with the more drastic measures and impacts reported by peer airports internationally, our current plans are proving effective, and we are confident that, in addition to the COVID risks, we are now able to manage peak summer traffic. are in a much stronger position. coming weeks.”
Amid a 1072% increase in passenger traffic compared to this time last year, the DAA acknowledged the challenges facing the airport in handling the huge demand for summer vacations, as many people are now Start traveling abroad again as the COVID-19 emergency is over.
“We are keen to avoid capacity cuts, which have been deployed at other UK and European airports, as these will have a material impact on the summer travel plans of a significant number of Irish travelers and families, most of whom have used foreign Haven’t enjoyed it. Affect vacation and business travelers in more than two years.”
It has advised any passengers who have been affected by flight cancellations or who require assistance with baggage tracing to contact their airline or the airline’s ground-handling company.
Passengers are still being asked to be at the airport for two and a half hours before a short-haul flight or three and a half hours before a long-haul departure, and to add an additional hour if they are checking in bags. Used to be.