The country is somewhat weary of reports that the Government is close to a decision on the issue of a second terminal at Dublin Airport. There are further newspaper leaks today to the effect that this is imminent. When Senator Mary O'Rourke was Minister for Public Enterprise she recognised the need for more capacity back in 1999. The programme for Government promised a second terminal and the former Minister for Transport, Deputy Brennan, promised a decision in early 2003. For the past nine months, the current Minister, Deputy Cullen, has been saying the decision would be made shortly.
The Government has dithered about the issue for a very long time. Can the Taoiseach confirm that the Cabinet will make a decision today? Will he elaborate on the answer he gave yesterday in Warsaw when he said he wanted a longer and greater vision for the airport, not just for the road or second terminal but all developments that feed into Shannon, Cork and the regional airports? He overflew that particular runway when asked about his view on the second terminal. Will the Government make a decision today in respect of the issue?
Is the favoured site located on land owned by the Dublin Airport Authority? Is it true that Fingal County Council, in its county development plan, does not recommend the DAA site as suitable? Did the Skidmore Owens Merrill report, commissioned by the Dublin Airport Authority, not recommend against the site? If the Cabinet decides that the terminal should be built on the DAA site, either the cargo terminal or the former Team Aer Lingus building, now a high-tech facility, will have to be knocked down at a cost of €70 million.
Is the Government about to make a decision in a similar manner to that made with regard to the M50? In its longer vision of future need for the airport it is proposing a terminal that will be obsolete on the day it is opened.