The first flight departed from Dublin Airports new 3.1km runway on Wednesday. A Ryanair flight to Eindhoven departed at 12pm, marking the official opening of the €320 million runway.
The project, which has been in the works for six-years, will support the creation of 31,200 new jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity, according to the airport's operator, Daa.
The North Runway is expected to expand annual passenger numbers past the current 30 million figure, while DAA said the new runway will also help grow the Irish economy.
The new runway is located on Daa lands 1.69 km north of Dublin Airport’s existing South Runway.
The North Runway will facilitate larger aircrafts and connectivity with long-haul destinations, as well as extra runway slot capacity for short-haul flights during early morning and late evening peak departure and arrival periods.
The Daa said the new runway will act as a hub for travel between Europe and North America, in particular.
The development of North Runway has been part of Dublin Airport’s long-term strategic planning and land use prioritisation since the 1960s.
Speaking at the opening, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said: “The new North Runway will provide much-needed capacity and will enable Dublin Airport to re-build and enhance connectivity to our island, putting Ireland in a strong position to facilitate increased economic activity.
“The new runway is a crucial piece of infrastructure which will enable Dublin Airport to expand and provide the necessary capacity to connect key existing and emerging global markets. I wish to commend all the hard-working staff and management at daa for completing such a key national infrastructure project within budget.”
Dalton Philips, daa CEO, said: “The opening of North Runway is an exciting milestone for Dublin Airport and Ireland, with the delivery of this once-in-a-generation piece of vital national infrastructure positioning Ireland for economic growth for many decades to come.
“The addition of North Runway will further enhance the role of Dublin Airport as a vital economic enabler for Irish tourism, trade and foreign direct investment. I am enormously proud of everyone who helped deliver this remarkable piece of aviation engineering both on budget and on schedule, ready to commence operation at a vital time for aviation and for Ireland.”
The opening comes after the Aircraft Noise Competent Authority (ANCA) last week recommended in favour of the DAA's proposed amendments to the runway's 2007 planning permission to extend its operating hours to between 6am-12am.
The ANCA also recommended that eligible houses near the airport can avail of a voluntary residential grant scheme of €20,000 from the DAA towards the cost of noise insulation measures.