Dublin Airport received 5,000 applications

Dublin Airport has received 5,000 applications, daa media relations manager Graeme McQueen said, following delays at the airport over the weekend which saw more than 1,000 people miss flights .

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mr McQueen said recruitment began before Christmas last year, with more than 500 candidates interviewed and 200 hired so far.

“It’s not that we’re not recruiting, we’re just not recruiting at the levels required to meet the demands of what we’re seeing right now,” McQueen said.

He said training new staff usually takes between five and six weeks.

Garda clearance and similar clearance from countries where applicants may have lived in the past also create a delay.

Forecasts of passenger levels are inaccurate, he added.

Mr McQueen said: “The rebound in passenger numbers across Europe has been much faster than expected and that is something we have to deal with.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, daa communications group leader Kevin Cullinane said some of his office staff will be working on security checks this weekend.

He said there will be a “small army of over 1,000 daa personnel” on site.

“Additional employees are being recruited. Staff are offered over time. Our company-wide task force, made up of over 450 employees in back offices such as HR, Finance , IT, will complement the existing core of more than 600 security officers over the weekend,” he said.

“There will therefore be a small army of over 1,000 daa staff on site, supplemented by contract staff in queue management to ensure that the optimum number of staff are on duty throughout the weekend. -holiday end and summer months, June July, August onwards.”

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Earlier, Mr Cullinane said more than 1,000 passengers missed their flights at the airport due to long queues yesterday.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said an updated tally will be made to get a final figure for those who missed flights, and again apologized to passengers.

Asked about the number of people who have missed flights, Mr Cullinane said: “At this stage we estimate over 1,000 passengers… we will again do a final tally with all of our airline partners and customers this morning to determine the final number”.

He added: ‘But certainly at this point it’s well over 1,000 passengers, and we unreservedly apologize for that.’

Daa officials are due to meet Minister of State for International Transport Hildegarde Naughton this morning as she seeks to find out how yesterday’s situation arose. More than 50,000 passengers were expected to leave the airport yesterday.

Operations at Dublin Airport run more smoothly today, with no queues outside the terminals. Some queues formed for some time earlier this morning outside terminal one, with a temporary drop-off area in operation briefly.

Additional security lanes have been opened to accommodate the expected early arrival of passengers, with 45,000 people due to depart from Dublin Airport today.

Asked why the airport did not have enough staff to cope with yesterday’s figures, Mr Cullinane said the airport was operating on ‘very thin margins’ and ‘operating at maximum’ levels of staff available.

Mr Cullinane added that there should be an additional 370 additional officers by the start of July.

“Yesterday morning when we opened security in terminals one and two, we clearly did not have enough security lanes open due to resource issues, and at the moment any absenteeism is impacting our ability to operate the lanes,” he said.

The challenges facing the airport began around 4.30am yesterday, he said, and worsened as people joined various queues until the system was finally overwhelmed.

He said the airport didn’t realize the extent of the problem until ‘literally people show up for work at 3am and 4am’ and when it became apparent , the airport has done its best to open the optimal number of lanes.

Although the airport knows how many passengers need to show up at the airport in a day, it does not have access to airline passenger manifests, he said.

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Read more: Minister meets airport operator amid long queues

The same number of passengers showed up on Saturday, he explained, and daa was able to handle that, but there weren’t enough lanes open or staff available yesterday.

Mr Cullinane said all available personnel will be deployed this week and over the Bank Holiday weekend, and every effort will be made to avoid a similar situation over the Bank Holiday weekend.

He said a business continuity team will meet today to see if any changes need to be made to passenger advice.

“We will have deployed all available personnel – including our task force – again this weekend. And we will do our best to ensure that everyone gets their flight this weekend.

“We realize that we let ourselves down and let the nation down yesterday, and we certainly don’t want to repeat that on our watch this week,” he added.

Mr Cullinane said anyone out of pocket as a result of yesterday’s queues will be reimbursed as soon as possible and should email [email protected]

He added: “We will of course ensure that anyone out-of-pocket as a result of yesterday is reimbursed as quickly as possible. Some of our airline partners are facilitating re-booking on future available flights free of charge at no additional cost.

“In some cases there may be an additional cost as the airline fare is different, but they will not be charged to make this rebooking.

“And in some cases people will have travel insurance which may also provide a reward.”

The CAR is not intended to intervene

The Aviation Regulatory Commission (CAR) has said it has no authority to intervene on behalf of passengers who missed their flight at Dublin Airport yesterday.

The CAR said its powers over passengers affected by operational problems only relate to cases where airlines are responsible for disruptions due to flight delays, cancellations or denied boarding.

The CAR website invites members of the public with complaints about airport security to contact the airport itself.

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