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DAA to suspend new office plan at Dublin Airport - CEO

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Paused: New development at Dublin Airport will be slowed down
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Paused: New development at Dublin Airport will be slowed down

The DAA will slow development of its Dublin Airport Central office plan in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and speculation that it could result in more people working from home in the long term, according to CEO Dalton Philips.

The project already has tenants including Kellogg's and ESB International in phase one, with the cereal giant set to move in later this year. There are three office blocks in the phase.

Earlier this year, the DAA, the semi-State company that operates Dublin and Cork airports, sought letting agents to lure tenants to the next phase of the project. It's due to include two office blocks, each six storeys high and extending over 11,500 square metres.

The DAA had anticipated starting construction on the office blocks in the current quarter and completing them by the end of 2022.

"I think we'll slow that down," Mr Philips told the Irish Independent in relation to the second phase.

"Buildings four and five - for the moment I'm going to pause it," he said.

"I'll just see what [Covid-19] means for the whole office environment.

"I think the proposition is still extremely compelling, but I think we just need to take stock.

"A, it's money and B, how is the office environment going to be? I really don't know. Are these trends going to stick or not?" he said.

The Dublin Airport Central project is aimed at large Irish and multinational companies that need high-quality office space.

The DAA warned last week that it's losing €1m a day in revenue and had already lost €160m as airline fleets remained grounded around the world due to the pandemic.

The company had embarked on a €2bn infrastructure investment plan for Dublin Airport that includes a €300m-plus runway project which will be completed. Most other projects are now under review, however, as the DAA undertakes sweeping rationalisation that will see hundreds of staff either laid off or taking extended career breaks.

Mr Dalton told the Irish Independent last week that the DAA could ask the Government to help bankroll the infrastructure project if the company is unable to secure finance via normal channels in the post-Covid environment.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Shane Ross said he has established a new taskforce to advise on what needs to be done to revive Ireland's aviation sector. The taskforce, chaired by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Chris Horn, will prepare an aviation recovery action plan, to be submitted to Government by July 10.

Irish Independent

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