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Key Land Parcels Up For Grabs For €210M At Dublin Airport

A key land parcel for Dublin's potential expansion is up for sale.

The owners of a Dublin Airport land bank seen as key to the expansion of the airport have put the land up for sale with an expectation that the price could hit more than €210M.

Three adjacent lots in the centre of the airport are being sold by brothers Ulick and Des McEvaddy; Seán Fox; and Brendan and Orla O’Donoghue as a package or as three separate parcels.

The high asking price means that the State airport operator would face a potentially significant bill to bring the land into public ownership, according to The Irish Times.

The best known of the vendors are the McEvaddy brothers, who have held their land since 1996 after concluding an unsuccessful campaign to develop a privately owned terminal. Talks with the airport authority are understood to have taken place, without reaching agreement on the price.

After advertising the land between the airport runways, the owners of the three lots have set a guide price in excess of €205M-€210M.

The land is seen as critical for the airport’s long-term expansion.

A review by Oxford Economics for the Department of Transport in 2019 worked on a baseline scenario of 54 million passengers by 2050 but last year the airport struggled to cope with just 28 million passengers.

This summer, car parking is expected to be an issue, while there will be no rail link from the airport to Dublin city centre until 2035 at the earliest.

The opening of a second runway in September 2022 prompted noise complaints from residents and The Dublin Airport Authority has gone to the High Court as it bids to cancel part of Fingal County Council’s local development plan, which has prescribed noise-mitigation measures that could cost up to €1.8B.

Dublin Airport handles about 90% of Irish air traffic and the DAA has been pushing for expansion of Terminals 1 and 2 instead of a third terminal.

Alternatives include development or expansion of other Irish airports, according to the Irish government's national development and planning framework.

The Irish Air Corps Casement Aerodrome HQ at Baldonnel has been mooted as a possible development site for a commercial airport alongside the military facility.

Meanwhile, a runway extension is planned at Waterford, which has had no flights since June 2016, though the case for developing regional airports to support Dublin would be much more likely to focus on Cork and Shannon.

The guide-price valuation on the 260-acre Dublin landbank sets the expected price in the region of €800K per acre, around half the €1.6M price per acre that the airport authority recently paid in a €70M deal for a car park site outside the airport campus.