25 April 2008

DAA wants a "Dublin Airport City"

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has announced the latest of its plans for what it describes as "a new city", to be built near the existing terminal complex of the airport (photo).

Only a few days after clarifying the details over the new Terminal 2, which will increase air traffic from and to Dublin (for details see my entry from April 21st) the DAA now says that it wants to build also a € 4 billion development over 140 ha to the east of the airport, comprising mainly office space.

The development has yet to get planning permission, and the funding has not been arranged either. So for the moment this is just another of the DAA's pipe dreams of gigantism, which seem to be a sign of the new company (since it gave up its old name Aer Rianta and became more trendy). However, the DAA says that their plan "fits in with the development plans of Fingal County Council" and would become "an economic hub targeting foreign direct investment".

Executives based at the "Dublin Airport City" would have "a high-speed people mover to connect with the new Metro North station" and would be able to get from their desks to airport check-in in an average of six minutes.

Well, if that is all you want, then you must be living in a different world to me, at least in quite a different country. And indeed, every time I am in Dublin the place looks a bit more alien to me, especially on the ever growing outskirts, which must be the largest building site in Europe, with the longest chronical traffic jam set into it.

And as a linguist I also wonder where our large companies get their PR staff from. What the heck is a "high-speed people mover" in proper English? Do they mean the planned Dublin Metro? Or a bus line? Or does it refer to the airport operation itself? I don't know. And I wonder if they know it themselves. The more our world is infiltrated by American-style corporate nerd language, the less we will understand companies and each other.

The new development would mean 55,000 m² of office space along with retail and hotel facilities and also a new aviation college. Although it could take 20 years to build, the DAA claims it "could add € 1 billion a year to the Irish economy".

Well, given the amount of damage the suggested devolpment would do to the environment, it is rather a small compensation. Are we going completely mad? Our obsession with ever more buildings, offices and air traffic will destroy the planet probably even before the "airport city" is completed. Honestly, it would be a lot easier and cheaper to kill ourselves by conventional means - if that is actually what we want.

The Emerald Islander


The Wild Goose said...

You are fantastic! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is indeed pure madness. When will these cowboy developers ever stop ruining our lovely country?!
As if Dublin is not large enough already... too large, as far as I'm concerned. Thanks for bringing this to people's attention.

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