The company responsible for running Dublin Airport warned the aviation regulator it would not be able to afford extra staff to keep passengers happy when it came to security queues, cleanliness, and unforeseen problems with airlines.
In correspondence with the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) over plans for passenger charges, daa said there was a political and public expectation that they would step in, in the event of flight delays, weather issues, or other unexpected cancellations.
The airport authority said the new charges were being set too low given the pressures they were under “in clear unanimity across print media, radio and TV, and social media”.
They told the CAR that calculating staff needs based on pre-Covid levels was failing to heed “operational lessons” learned during the pandemic.
daa said it was clear that passengers at Dublin Airport expected to see “greater resilience and system redundancy” in place to avoid some of the problems that dogged it last year.
The airport authority said the Department of Transport had repeatedly raised issues both during last summer and in the run-up to Christmas 2022 about how the airport was functioning.
A letter from the daa chairman Basil Geoghegan said: “[We] share the view of the ministers, the department, the JOC [Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport], the airlines and the travelling public in this regard. We believe that the correct staffing levels must be higher than the pre-Covid era would suggest.”
In a last-minute plea for charges to be set higher, Mr Geoghegan said there was an expectation on daa to deal with any problems that cropped up, no matter whose fault they actually were.
They had been expected to “step in” after mass airline cancellations due to IT problems and a build-up of unclaimed and lost luggage, even though they were