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Transport infrastructure, Dublin Airport

Mature cities put a lot of thought into their transport systems, even if they can’t afford to put much money into them. Look at Curitiba, which has a modern public transport system that cost very little to establish. Dublin Airport, on the other hand is a disaster area, because simple, obvious design issues haven’t been considered. Not only that, but the airport company actually profits from its own inefficiency.

On Saturday I was picking a relation up from arrivals. It was chaos, people everywhere. I reckon there were around three or four thousand people in the arrivals area. The queues into the arrivals hall were backed up into the luggage hall, which was slowing down all of the operations.

The reason it is so crowded is that there is an obvious bottleneck. The doors to get into the arrivals area are too narrow. There’s only enough space for four people to stand abreast. When there are a few thousand people arriving every hour, that just isn’t enough space. It takes a long time to get out of the baggage hall. As a result, people in the arrivals hall are left waiting for much longer than necessary.

This is bad for passengers, and bad for people waiting, but it is good for the airport. People awaiting passengers have to wait longer. As a result, they use the shops in the arrivals area more, so driving revenues and rents upwards. At the same time, people waiting have to leave their cars in the car park for an extra hour.

In the end, it was one hour and twenty minutes after the plane landed before we were able to leave the airport.

The airport authority then moans and groans about needing extra space. Of course, it would be nice to have an extra terminal, but if the authority concentrated harder on maximising the capacity of the existing facilities, then they might be a little easier to take seriously.

Why do we put up with this carry-on?

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