The Department for Transport will hold a daily crisis meeting on the queue chaos at Dublin Airport after passengers missed their flights due to a lack of security staff last weekend.
In a statement tonight, Junior Transport Secretary Hildegarde Naughton said she had set up a “daily crisis management meeting regarding security queues at Dublin Airport”.
She said she met with Dublin Airport Authority chief executive Dalton Philips and senior management at DAA today.
The meeting discussed “the additional measures that have been put in place, such as B. the reallocation of staff to assist in queue management and to ensure better presentation for security screening, additional overtime, the additional opening hours of security gates and improved communication with passengers”.
“DAA reported an improvement in queue times over last weekend, but passengers were still experiencing excessively long times at peak times. The Minister was assured that Dublin Airport will continue to work closely with its airline partners through the appropriate channels,” the department said.
“The minister was also briefed on accelerated DAA plans to recruit additional security personnel. DAA has hired 100 additional security guards and plans to hire nearly 300 more.
“The Minister has also been working with her department officials and today met with the CEOs of Aer Lingus and Ryanair, as well as the CEO-elect of the ILO regulator, to get a fuller assessment of the issues that have been encountered.
“The Minister and Department will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days and weeks and plan to be in touch with daa on a daily basis to ensure whatever can be done is done for passengers using Dublin Airport .”
The move comes after Ryanair on Friday morning called on the Department for Transport to hold an emergency meeting over huge security delays at Dublin Airport which have resulted in some passengers missing flights in recent days.
The head of Dublin Airports Authority had to apologize to passengers this week, saying DAA was facing a “perfect storm” as staff shortages and passenger numbers were 30 per cent higher than forecast.
Dalton Philips apologized “unreservedly” for the delays passengers were experiencing recently, saying “this is not what passengers should expect from Dublin Airport”.
Mr Philips said the “pent-up demand” has resulted in 15,000 more travelers passing through the airport each day than industry experts expected.
However, it has emerged that Dublin Airport is offering security guards €14.14 an hour and can only guarantee 20 hours of work per week as it tries to hire another 300 staff to solve the staffing crisis that is causing long passenger delays has led.
Some backroom staff have been redeployed to deal with queues, while Dublin Airport has also suspended its fast track system.
This morning Ryanair said it and other airlines reiterated a call to the Department for Transport for an early meeting of the National Air Transport Facilitation Committee (Natfac) to urgently address the issue and said it will happen again this weekend and during Easter School would holidays.
Queues had eased over the week but the airport was busy again this morning ahead of the weekend, despite reports that queues were moving.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Department for Transport, which is responsible for Dublin Airport, has turned down Irish airlines’ request to hold an urgent NATFAC meeting,” Ryanair said.
“Ryanair and other Dublin Airport customers can no longer endure weekends when thousands of customers endure 1 or 2 hour waits in queue causing many to miss their scheduled flights.
“The Department for Transport must take responsibility for helping the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) resolve this short-term staffing issue.”
It was unacceptable that the department had rejected the request and urged Secretary Eamon Ryan to “take some responsibility for resolving this crisis and holding an emergency meeting of NATFAC immediately so the government can take emergency measures to avoid huge queues.” and long flight delays over the Easter holidays.”
Ryanair added: “There is a major short-term staffing problem at Dublin Airport and it is the Transport Secretary’s responsibility to intervene at a time of crisis like this by calling an urgent meeting of NATFAC to agree solutions to what we hope are these short term but unacceptable security queues at Dublin Airport.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/daily-crisis-meeting-to-take-place-over-dublin-airport-queue-delays-41510346.html Daily crisis meeting over queuing delays at Dublin Airport