Core airport charges at Dublin Airport will increase by 0.5% in 2013, under proposals outlined to airlines by the Dublin Airport Authority. Under the DAA proposals, this price increase will apply in summer only, as core prices in the winter period will remain unchanged.
DAA has also proposed two technical adjustments to other elements of airport charges – a narrowing of the existing differential between charges for the use of certain types of aircraft parking stands, and an increase in the charge levied to meet the cost of providing a service to Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM).
“Independent studies have consistently shown that charges at Dublin Airport are cheaper than at other comparable European airports, and this modest adjustment to our pricing for 2013 will continue to maintain the price advantage that we have relative to the European average,” said DAA Strategy Director, Vincent Harrison. “This modest adjustment will be Dublin Airport’s first overall price increase in two years.”
Charges at Dublin Airport are regulated by the independent Commission for Aviation Regulation, which sets an annual price cap – the average maximum charge per passenger that can be levied – for the airport. There is no single airport charge at Dublin Airport, as the charges that are levied on each airline are based on a wide variety of individual elements and can also vary depending on the season, with higher summer and lower winter prices. The airport charges element shown within airlines’ overall ticket prices often bears no relation to the actual charge paid by the airline at Dublin Airport. The adjustments in charges that have been proposed by DAA could see the company’s average revenue per passenger from airport charges increase by about 2% in 2013.
However, a portion of that potential increase includes an increased levy to cover the cost of providing a PRM service at Dublin Airport. DAA contracts this service to another company and makes no money on this activity. Under European rules, DAA is mandated to recover the full cost of PRM services through a levy on airlines, and this levy is included within the overall basket of airport charges. Dublin Airport is currently not recovering the full cost of the PRM service and the proposed price adjustment puts it back on a full cost recovery basis.
The main technical change within the DAA proposals is a reduction in the differential between the two main types of aircraft parking areas. Historically, the charge for parking areas that required passengers to be bussed to the aircraft was cheaper than that at parking areas adjacent to a boarding gate pier. A large differential had developed due to a previous shortage of parking at boarding gates, which has now largely been addressed. At the request of the majority of airline customers at Dublin Airport, DAA now intends to reduce this differential.
The consultation process is also seeking airlines’ views on whether certain seasonal and other charges should be modified on a revenue neutral basis. Dublin Airport will continue to offer generous financial incentives to stimulate the launch of new short-haul and long-haul routes. All charges are waived in the first year of qualifying services and reductions on airport charges can be claimed for up to five years for new long-haul routes. It is also supporting the expansion or reinstatement of capacity on markets that are already served with an innovative Growth Incentive Scheme to encourage overall growth in passenger numbers.
Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport increased by 2% last year to 18.7 million. In the first 10 months of this year, 16.5 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport, a 1% increase on the same period in 2011.