Army to be on stand-by to assist at Dublin Airport for six weeks

Army to be on stand-by to assist at Dublin Airport for six weeks

THE DEFENCE Forces are to undergo training and be on stand-by to assist operations at Dublin Airport, the government has said.

At a Cabinet meeting today, the request from Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD was granted by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD.

The request is to last no more than six weeks, in non-public facing duties, and will centre on security duties at the airport.

"While I recognise that the role of the Defence Forces is not normally to assist in the provision of services for a commercial airport, I have agreed to this request on a clear assurance that this is a distinct piece of work, provided in extreme circumstances, as a short-term emergency related contingency action and is in direct response to a letter from daa management to the Minister for Transport," Coveney said.

Minister Coveney said he has been consulting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy on the request.

"Members of our Defence Forces will undergo an immediate period of training and stand ready to assist if the need arises. However, this support will be stood down in August when the busy holiday period has passed, " he said.

"The daa have given assurances that they will continue with their own recruitment and onboarding of additional security staff and the introduction of other mitigations during this period," the statement concluded.

The Department of Transport has said that the Defence Forces will only be deployed, if requested by the daa, and in a scenario where there is a "significant deterioration in passenger queuing times with a risk of large numbers of passengers missing their flights."

It also said it expects the daa to continue to manage through the summer period with passengers who heed the relevant advice making their flights and the majority of passengers passing through security in less than 45 minutes.

Recent months have seen chaos at Dublin Airport as a result of staff shortages, causing many passengers to miss their flights.

This forced the daa to issue guidance on arrival times for short and long-haul flights from the airport..