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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Sweeping curves and elegant streamlining the new shape of things at Dublin airport

T2 at Dublin airport. Energy use has been minimised as much as possible and it is reckoned this will reduce the new terminal's carbon emissions by up to 32 per cent compared to a standard terminal.

Aer Lingus to test transition as terminal opens todayFRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

EVERYONE WHO knows Dublin airport and its dilapidated and often chaotic main terminal will be delighted and surprised by Terminal 2. Except for the views out towards Howth and Ballymun and, indeed, a glimpse of the unloved Terminal 1, it is like being in another country.

Externally, the sweeping curves of the new terminal suggest a swaggering symbol of boom-time Ireland, which is when this mammoth project was conceived.

Internally, it is bright, elegant, streamlined, and – above all – characterised by an almost incredible sense of space.

Just as the endless changes of levels on arrival in Terminal 1 – going downstairs, then upstairs and then down again to the oppressive baggage hall – offered a preview of the country’s chaos, Terminal 2 conveys an entirely different impression of how Ireland is organised.

After a single change in level, it’s straight through all the way to the exit – via a baggage hall with half-a-dozen huge carousels, some big enough to cater for two long-haul flights at a time, under a wavy white-panelled ceiling set high enough to avoid being oppressive.

Unusually, arriving passengers share the same space as those checking in at Terminal 2 after they emerge from the customs hall. This is a vast single volume, contained in the emblematic “toroid” form of the entrance/exit zone – geometrically derived from a doughnut.

Alan Lamond, one of the directors of airport architects Pascall and Watson, believes the mixing of arriving and departing passengers in a major terminal is “almost unique”, and says it was intended to allow new arrivals to experience the spatial drama of Terminal 2’s toroid.

This makes an immediate impression as you enter the building, as does the high-quality fit-out, which includes walnut panelling over the 54 check-in desks, the twin blue-glazed lift shafts and the matching sets of escalators that link the entry zone to the next level.

Above, as if to act as a guide, the curved roof is split in two by a long transverse louvred skylight.

“The key driver,” Lamond says, “was to make ‘way-finding’ for users as intuitive and straightforward as possible, so you’re always moving upwards towards the light.”

There are plenty of security lanes, all in the same place for a change, and all 25 departure gates are clearly marked by outsized numbers. Toilets are also easily identifiable by their blue-glazed pods, though paper is still not offered as an option – only wasteful hand-dryers.

In general, energy use has been minimised as much as possible, and it’s reckoned this will reduce the new terminal’s carbon emissions by up to 32 per cent compared to a standard scenario. The building, which can be seen for miles, is also capable of being extended.

The escalators and travelators seem remarkably slow, perhaps due to nanny state regulations here. At peak times some passengers checking in for flights in Terminal 2 will have to make their way along a corridor link to Terminal 1’s octagonal (and now very dated) Pier B.

Pre-clearance for US customs, which was one of the selling points of Terminal 2 internationally, will not come into operation until early next year; aptly this area is clad in American cherrywood – although there’s a prominent Garda desk to show that you’re still legally in Ireland.

There are 19 airbridges, some in pairs to allow quicker boarding for long-haul flights, and – so far – they have not had their interiors plastered by advertisements for a mobile phone company. The calm grey surfaces should be protected against such vulgar commercialism.

Inevitably there are multiple shopping opportunities, particularly in the departures area – and there’s even a shop for arriving passengers in case they’ve forgotten to buy perfume or whatever. WH Smith beat Eason for the lucrative bookshop franchise.

Restaurants and bars are stylish, on a par with those in the most recent extension of Terminal 1, which is virtually its only attractive feature. The landside Oak Cafe and Bar with its free-standing “glulam” timber structure designed by Tom de Paor is a real eye-catcher.

Dividing Terminal 2 into two sections, linked by a multilevel “bridge” over the road serving Terminal 1, was the “eureka moment” for its designers – including Arup consulting engineers – because it allowed the building to be built without too much disruption.

Much of the former Pier C, which occupied part of the site, was also retained; built as recently as 1998 it could hardly have been written off. The pier is oversailed by the upper levels of the new terminal and has now been remodelled to include three airline lounges.

Corballis House, a protected structure that largely dated from the 1760s, was the only outright casualty of Terminal 2’s construction. A fine neo-Palladian country house, whose builders could never have imagined its latter-day surroundings, it was unfortunately in the way.

Exit from the new terminal is through a glazed tube that is awkwardly plugged into the rather boxy new car-park building which will have 1,000 spaces; earlier plans for a hotel that would have covered up this merely functional block were pigeonholed because of the recession.

There is a clear route (with lifts to ensure universal access) to stands for buses and taxis immediately in front of the terminal. Provision has also been made for Metro North – if it’s ever built; a rail station serving both terminals would be close to the now more visible airport church.

One of the critical decisions that had to be made in 2005, when Terminal 2 was being designed, was how big it should be. At the time Dublin airport was bursting at the seams, with forecasts that passenger numbers would rise inexorably to 35 million or more. As things turned out, numbers peaked at 23.5 million in early 2008, and have since fallen. With Aer Lingus moving into the new terminal, along with US airlines and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, this will now be evenly split at nine million for each of the two terminals.

It could be argued, as Ryanair’s voluble chief executive Michael O’Leary has done repeatedly, that the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) lost the run of itself by commissioning such an extravagant terminal at a reputed cost of €609 million – including the new 420m pier.

In O’Leary’s view, the DAA should have settled for something as cheap and cheerless as the no-frills terminal building at Frankfurt-Hahn, a simple white shed that could equally have served as a BQ outlet. What we’ve got is a highly creditable legacy of the boom.

Ryanair now becomes the anchor tenant of Terminal 1, which will suit the airline just fine. Plans by the DAA to give it a much-needed facelift have had to be postponed because the Commission for Aviation Regulation doesn’t believe this would be justified in the current climate.

Irish Times

Spectacular and well done to all involved!:banana::cheers:

Saw this ad on tv the other day


14,880 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now open to the general public...

New T2 terminal opens to public


The new Terminal 2 at Dublin airport is open to the general public from today following its official opening by the Taoiseach last week.

The new building is opening for operations on a phased basis, as agreed by the Dublin Airport Authority and its airline customers.

Today saw Etihad Airways starting its scheduled services at the €600 million terminal after moving its Dublin operation to Terminal 2 (T2).

Etihad’s first flight arrived from Abu Dhabi into T2 at 13.45pm this afternoon and will leave Dublin for Abu Dhabi at 19.55pm this evening. The carrier will run 10 services a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi.

Beatrice Cosgrove, Etihad Airways area general manager for Northern Europe, said: "Today is a milestone in Etihad Airways’ Irish operation - being the first airline to operate scheduled flights into and out of the one of the most remarkable terminals in the world."

Aer Lingus has flown a number of selected flights through T2, and the carrier plans to operate a range of services through the new terminal over the coming weeks, as it prepares for the full transfer of its scheduled flights from January.

According to a a DAA, there were no problems today, and a spokesman said the staggered rollout of operations was to ensure the terminal operations transfer went as smoothly as possible.

In 2008, Heathrow airport's Terminal 5, a hub for British Airways, was plagued by operational resulting in more than 500 cancelled flights, huge delays for travellers, and the mislaying of luggage.

When fully operational, T2 will house Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and US Airways.

The new building will also house a new US preclearance facility that will run customs, immigration, and security checks for US-bound passengers. The preclearance facility will open in the New Year, and US carriers will transfer into Terminal 2 to coincide with this time frame.

Brian Cowen opened the facility last Friday as an inaugural Aer Lingus flight landed at the terminal.

The new terminal is expected to create 500 jobs, including positions in security, cleaning, customer service and passenger processing.

The airport authority said about 400 new jobs would be created in the retail and catering elements of T2, “but given the nature of airport operations the total employed will be well over 1,000 as the jobs will be a mixture of full and part-time positions”.

Ryanair will not be moving to the new terminal, however. The airline's boss has criticised what he says is "a €1.2 billion palace".

That's something coming from a mid east airline. I want to get in there and take snaps myself. Hopefully shortly.

14,880 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·

DUBLIN — Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today visited Dublin Airport to meet with Irish Minister of Transport Noel Dempsey and mark the expansion of preclearance services, beginning January 19, 2011, in Ireland to commercial aircraft departing and passing through Dublin Airport for the United States—enhancing global aviation security by allowing DHS to screen travelers before takeoff through the same process they would undergo upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry to better target and prevent threats while streamlining legitimate travel and trade.

"Our continued partnership with the Irish government is critical to our efforts to enhance international aviation security," said Secretary Napolitano. "Expanding preclearance services at Dublin Airport underscores our commitment to protecting the safety and security of our citizens while streamlining legitimate travel and commerce between our two nations."

In order to meet U.S. screening standards, members of the Dublin Airport security staff have been trained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on TSA-approved screening procedures.

DHS currently provides preclearance services at 14 foreign airports in five countries. Passengers or crew members found to be inadmissible to the United States are denied admission prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights—eliminating the need to return inadmissible travelers to their country of departure after they have already arrived in the United States.

In March, preclearance services were expanded for private aircraft departing Shannon Airport for the United States. The expansion of preclearance services in Ireland is part of the Department's ongoing efforts to work with international partners and the International Civil Aviation Organization to bolster global aviation security. Last month, Secretary Napolitano announced that 100 percent of passengers on flights from, within or bound for the United States are now being checked against government watchlists under the TSA's Secure Flight program—fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation a month ahead of schedule.

1,765 Posts
^^ Probably no harm intended. I'm sure Alex just meant the British Isles. The terms British, Irish, Britain, Great Britain, United Kingdom... etc can be confusing for people living on these islands at the best of times, so I can only imagine how confusing it could be for someone forgien. (thought I'd clear that up before any nationalists/unionists did! :lol:)

And of course I still maintain this is a fantastic terminal. I'm looking forward to seeing what new airlines/destinations Dublin can attract, especially when the new ACT and runway are built.
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