Dublin Airport has been in the headlines in the past week due to delays in processing passengers though security. This is not just happening in Dublin, but also at other European and British Airports. There are a number of factors involved and plans are in place to resolve them.
Dublin Airport Delays Due to Many Factors
Firstly, due to Covid-19, traffic at Dublin Airport fell from almost 33 million passengers to just over eight million in 2020 and 2021 resulting in the loss of staff. The usual count for security personnel is 900 and it is now at 600.
The EU introduced stricter requirements for all personnel working in an aviation environment from 1 January 2022. This has meant more intensive police vetting for existing and upcoming applicants, leading to delays in processing.
The transmissibility of the current Omicron variant of Covid-19 has meant higher numbers of people are contracting it, causing widespread absences.
Pent-up demand from people is reflected in the huge increase in passengers travelling, this month (March) numbers increased from 25,000 to 70,000 per day in mid-March.
The return of the aviation business has also resulted in a big increase in flights, both existing and new routes. The number of flights continues to rise sharply, from 300 per day at the start of January, up to 500 a day by March. The aircraft load factors have increased from 49% to 80%. There are now more than 130 routes from Dublin Airport, and more are being added or returning every week.
Action by Dublin Airport Authority
The Dublin Airport Authority (daa) are recruiting constantly and has added 100 new staff since January. This week 250 people have been called for interview.
Considering the current issues, staff that have the required security clearance are being redeployed to assist with security screening.
The airport will operate on a 24-hour basis for the moment to allow passengers, particularly those on early morning flights pass through security with more ease.
Aer Lingus has reinstated the day before drop-off for baggage for passengers flying from Dublin between 5:30am and 8am. Passengers can check in and drop off their bags at the airport between 4pm and 7:45pm the evening before they fly and go straight to security the next morning.
Ryanair issued a notice to intending passengers to be at the airport at least 3.5 hours before departure time. The Aer Lingus recommended check-in times are 2.5 hours for flights within Europe and 3.5 hours for transatlantic flights. (Check-in closes 75 minutes before flight departure time for Economy Class and 60 minutes for Business Class).
How Can Passengers Speed Up Through Dublin Airport
Prepare your cabin bag, all liquids, gels and pastes must be in a clear plastic bag and no more than 100ml or 4oz per container; lip balm is considered a paste.
- Prepare your cabin bag, all liquids, gels and pastes must be in a clear plastic bag and no more than 100ml or 4oz per container; lip balm is considered a paste.
- Think about what to wear, you will have to take off coats, jackets, belts and shoes when going through Security. You may also have to remove chunky jewellery.
- Go to the airport earlier – Dublin Airport is a lovely airport with lots of nice restaurants, bars and shopping to enjoy.
- Make a trip to the airport part of the journey. Travellers to the United Kingdom can now buy duty free, and the range at Dublin is extensive.
- You can use the Shop & Collect service for all products except alcohol and tobacco, and pick up your purchases on return to Dublin.
- Ensure that you have travel insurance, and that you pay for it two weeks before departure. Some insurance companies have a moratorium up to 14 days and claims can only be made after that period.
- Bon voyage