Dublin Airport welcomed almost 32 million passengers during 2023

by Rose Barrett
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Ireland’s two busiest airports – Dublin and Cork – welcomed almost 35m passengers in 2023, according to new figures released today by daa, the operator of both airports.

A total of 31.908m passengers passed through both terminals of Dublin Airport last year, in compliance with the 32m terminals cap. At least 2.3m passengers travelled through the airport in December last alone, with a total of 17,891 flights as thousands returned home to Ireland and overseas to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. 

Ireland’s two busiest airports – Dublin and Cork – welcomed almost 35m passengers in 2023, according to new figures released today by daa, the operator of both airports.

A total of 31.908m passengers passed through both terminals of Dublin Airport last year, in compliance with the 32m terminals cap. At least 2.3m passengers travelled through the airport in December last alone, with a total of 17,891 flights as thousands returned home to Ireland and overseas to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. 

Figures from operator daa also confirmed that Cork Airport enjoyed the busiest year in its 62-year history for international passenger traffic, with 2.8m passengers travelling through in 2023 – which represented a +25 per cent increase on 2022 levels (2.24m). 

2023 In Numbers
 Dublin AirportCork Airport
Passengers Through Terminals31,908,4712,801,900
Connecting Passengers1,081,800*N/A
Other Passengers532,222**N/A
Number of Flights241,59519,736

The hard-working team at Dublin Airport ensured a smooth experience for passengers throughout 2023, with 97per cent of passengers passing through security screening in less than 20 minutes – the daa’s own stated target of 90per cent through in under 20 minutes.

The busiest day of the year at Dublin Airport, and indeed in the history of the airport, was Sunday, July 30 when 121,000 passengers travelled through the airport.  In total, there were 241,595 flight movements at Dublin Airport during 2023.

Kenny Jacobs, CEO of daa, said: “2023 was a very solid year for both Dublin Airport and Cork Airport as our hard-working teams ensured a consistently smooth and positive experience for all passengers who travelled through both airports.

“It was a year full of highlights at Dublin Airport, from the arrival of US President Joe Biden and Air Force One in April to the departure and arrival home of the Irish women’s football team and the men’s rugby team to and from their respective World Cups during the summer.”

“Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are now 60pc higher than they were a decade ago and there is strong demand for further growth, which would continue to bring new jobs and economic growth to Ireland. As it stands, Dublin Airport has room to grow and could comfortably accommodate 35m passengers per annum with the current infrastructure, but we now face a period of stalled growth as we continue to adhere to the annual terminals cap of 32m passengers.

“Existing airline customers want to grow at Dublin and new airline customers want to start flying to and from Dublin. The airline and passenger demand is there, Ireland will lose out to other uncapped hub airports with potential new jobs and new connectivity being be lost until Dublin Airport is allowed to operate to a higher capacity.

“Dublin Airport last year submitted an Infrastructure Application to Fingal County Council* which, if approved, would enable us to take up these growth opportunities for Ireland Inc and increase passenger numbers to 40m per annum, which would result in more jobs being created and further economic growth. Until this application is approved, Dublin Airport’s terminals will remain capped at 32m passengers and Ireland will continue to wave goodbye to good jobs and economic growth,” added Jacobs.

In December 2023, carbon per passenger at Dublin Airport was 1.0kg, a 4pc reduction on December 2022. This data relates to our scope 1 and 2 emissions and a rolling annual average carbon figure.

* The largest ever application in the history of the state (7,000 pages), families around Swords and beyond claim they are still struggling with the noise and emissions from the new runway opened at Dublin Airport in August 2022.  The application, claim some residents, contains NO proposals to reduce the noise impact or emissions. 

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