Maximum passenger charges that can be levied at Dublin Airport could plunge after the aviation watchdog said they should fall by more than a fifth by 2019.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) issued a draft determination on the passenger charge structure it proposes should be implemented at Dublin Airport between next year and 2019.
The maximum charge that can be levied per passenger at Dublin Airport, which is controlled by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), is currently €10.68.
Under the planned new pricing, the maximum that could be levied on each passenger would be 22pc lower at €8.35 by 2019.
The CAR is seeking responses to its proposals, which are due in July before a final determination is made.
DAA boss Kevin Toland has already pledged not to raise charges at the airport beyond the rate of inflation for the next five years.
The CAR said it has allowed for €308m in capital expenditure by the DAA over the next five years, while an additional allowance of €296m will be permitted for the construction of a new parallel runway at Dublin if passenger numbers hit 25 million.
It’s expected that construction of the new runway, for which the DAA already has planning permission, will start within the next seven to 10 years.
The CAR is predicting that passenger numbers will grow by 3pc per annum at Dublin Airport over the next five years, reaching nearly 24m by 2019.
The CAR said that an improving economic outlook, rising passenger numbers and lower investment costs have all prompted the decision to cut the charge.
“The factors that put airport charges under upward pressure have moved into reverse,” said commissioner Cathal Guiomard. “Passenger traffic is increasing, along with commercial revenues. The operating costs of the airport have been below forecast, investment costs are lower than when T2 was under construction, and interest rates and financial market conditions generally have eased substantially.”