Dublin, Ireland: 2023 Business Aviation Destination Guide
Dublin is the capital of Ireland and one of the most popular business aviation destinations in Europe. Situated on the east coast of the country, Dublin is well-connected to the rest of Europe and the world, making it a convenient location for business travelers. Dublin Airport is a major hub for business aviation traffic, with over 100,000 business aviation movements per year. Here’s everything you need to know about operating a business jet to Dublin:
Dublin Airport (EIDW) is the primary airport for business aviation travel to Dublin. It is one of the busiest airports in Europe, handling more than 30 million passengers every year. The airport is located just 10km from the city center, making it very easy to get to and from your destination. Dublin (EIDW) is a business aviation-friendly destination with plenty of aircraft parking and full services/credit available. Be aware. However, aircraft parking charges can be high at this location – depending upon where you park and how long you stay. Tarmac, taxiways, and runways are all in good condition and receive maintenance on a frequent basis. The airport is about eight kilometers (km) (five miles) north of the city center. Drive time averages 25 minutes but can be as long as 40 minutes during heavy traffic. For crews with the opportunity to spend time in the Dublin area, a tour of Guinness Star House and Trinity College is recommended, along with visits to the Jameson Whisky Distillery and the many museums in the city.
EIDW is a 24/7 airport, with the exception of annual closures from December 24, 2300 local, to December 26, 0600 local. During this 31-hour period, only emergency flights are accepted. Expect heavier traffic during peak hours (0600-0730 local and 2100-2230 local) but no General Aviation (GA) operating restrictions. EIDW currently does not have noise restrictions in place.
All aircraft operating to/from EIDW require airport slots, and slot requirements are the same for private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations. Airport slots should be requested as far in advance as possible since short-notice requests typically offer fewer options. Once slots are confirmed, aircraft parking is also confirmed. Airport slots are requested via an online coordination system, and you must have an account to request slots through this system. Your local ground handler or 3rd-party provider can do this on your behalf. Once your request is received, the system will indicate if your slot is confirmed, pending, or unavailable. You’ll receive a confirmation number with an approved slot, but this does not need to be placed in remarks 18 of the flight plan. If a requested slot is unavailable, the next best option will be provided. Slot deviation is -/+ 15 minutes, and there’s no penalty for missing an airport slot. During inclement weather, slot availability may be restricted. Also, during peak periods of commercial airline movements – typically 0600-0730 and 2100-2230 local – there may be limitations on slot availability. The slot system is governed by Eurocontrol, but EIDW airport authorities can authorize airport slots in the event of an emergency. Once your schedule is provided, the ground handler will immediately apply for airport slots through the system. No documents are required for this slot request procedure. Your ground handler will typically charge a small fee for coordinating airport slot arrangements. Once a slot is confirmed, the airport will honor aircraft parking for the time period. Your assigned parking spot, however, will not be advised until arrival.
EIDW requires PPRs for aircraft that do not meet Stage 3 noise requirements. These are issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and it’s best to communicate with IAA directly to obtain approval. In many cases, permits for non-Stage 3 operations will be approved with the recommended five business days’ lead time. However, you may be limited as to approved routings and/or flight levels.
There’s no limitation on how long GA aircraft may remain at EIDW. If aircraft parking is not available in the GA area, aircraft will be parked on the commercial side where parking charges are considerably higher. The GA parking area can handle 10 to 15 aircraft, depending upon aircraft size, but your exact parking spot will not be known until about an hour prior to arrival. If you’re parked in the commercial area, your ground handler will try to move you to the GA side as soon as a spot becomes available. GA crews do not need to be present for most aircraft relocations so long as parking brakes are off. For larger aircraft (ACJ and BBJ-sized and above), the crew must be in attendance during aircraft repositioning. Aircraft parking is charged in 15-minute intervals, and rates differ between the GA and commercial sides of the field. Currently, GA parking for light aircraft starts at 2.65 Euros per 15 minutes, and this rate increases by 20 percent after 24 hours, 100% after 48 hours, and 200% after 72 hours. On the commercial side, aircraft parking charges currently start at 7.70 Euros per 15 minutes for narrow-body aircraft and escalate at the same percentage rates as on the GA side. These high rates are meant to deter long-term commercial aircraft parking but, unfortunately, also impact GA. Parking stands are typically accessed and departed from under aircraft power.
There are just three quality business aviation ground handling companies servicing Dublin Airport, including Universal Aviation Ireland. Ground handlers will be happy to provide cost quotes to help you better refine operating options. Universal Aviation Ireland has had a presence in Shannon for 20 years.
Dublin is a major international city with many good hotel options. Some that our Universal Aviation Ireland – Dublin office recommends include: Shelbourne Hotel, Merrion Hotel and The Marker Hotel.
There’s one in-flight caterer available on the airport. Universal Aviation is able to store onboard catering arriving from an international destination. This is because ground handler facilities are located airside. Ground handlers will, however, arrange for international trash to be disposed of and incinerated. Specialty in-flight catering requests – fresh fish, specialty wines, etc. – need to be confirmed in advance and not left to the last minute. You can check the free Air Culinaire Worldwide Menu app to see catering options and menus available.
Airport security is good at EIDW without being arduous. Unarmed airport police patrol the airport perimeter and all ramp areas 24/7. Security cameras cover the entire airport. Private aircraft security is currently not available at EIDW.
Airside dropoff and pickup is not possible. Pre-paid transportation (car and driver) is the preferred local transport option, but taxi services are good, and rental car facilities are available at all major airports in Ireland. Rental cars may be advantageous for longer stays in Ireland but are not the ideal option for crews on shorter stays. Keep in mind that while primary roads in Ireland are good, secondary roads can be very narrow, and you’ll be driving on the left side of the road. Roads are well marked, and a GPS isn’t really needed. Be sure to take out full rental car insurance coverage. In Ireland, a “standard” rental car is the equivalent to a sub-compact in the US, and you’ll usually be given a standard shift unless you specify an automatic transmission. For shorter stays, pre-paid transport (car with driver) is often the best option and can be arranged via your ground handler. You can get a free quote for ground transportation through Universal-Drivania Chauffeurs.
Fuel is available 24/7 and is obtained by truck from an on-airport fuel farm. It’s important to note that no hydrant facilities are available at this airfield. Business aircraft operators have choices in fuel suppliers. You may use commercial fuelers. However, priority is given to scheduled commercial ops, and General Aviation (GA) delays can, at times, be up to two hours. The faster and more reliable option is to use a ground handler’s fuel truck, but the acceptance of aviation fuel cards may be an issue in some circumstances. Expect fuel delays if operating during peak scheduled commercial periods when not using a ground handler fuel truck. If your aircraft is parked overnight at EIDW, and you plan on departing during peak hours, it’s recommended to fuel on arrival or the day prior to departure. Fuel testing can be arranged at the operator’s request. Charter operators can exempt VAT on domestic operations within Ireland if they show an Air Operator’s Certificate.
For business aircraft operators traveling to Dublin (EIDW), CIQ clearance is straightforward and quick. In most cases, crew will not be subject to customs/immigration screening on international arrivals. Similarly, no outbound customs/immigration clearance is necessary for either passengers or crew. Traveling with pets will require special consideration. As there’s no GA terminal at this airport, CIQ is completed at the main terminal. Clearing onboard the aircraft is only possible for emergency medical and head of state flights or if a high-profile passenger – such as an international celebrity – may face a security risk if clearing within the terminal. Onboard CIQ clearance must be approved in advance. In-terminal CIQ clearance normally takes about five minutes, and there’s a separate immigration line for GA passengers. If visas are required (Schengen visas), they must be obtained prior to arrival. Crew/passengers must have at least one-month remaining validity on passports. After an international arrival, passengers and luggage are escorted to the main terminal by the ground handler for customs and immigration clearance. Passengers have access to a separate GA line for immigration clearance but wait in the same line as commercial passengers for customs clearance. This process usually takes about 10 minutes and up to 15 minutes during busier periods. Your ground handling agent will be present during the whole process. From time to time, customs will decide to screen or open luggage. Onboard CIQ clearance is usually limited to head of state and emergency medical flights. If you’re carrying a public figure and feel there may be a security risk in using the general CIQ clearing process, a request may be submitted for onboard clearance. Approval, however, may not be confirmed until the day before arrival and will depend on workload and duty officer schedules.
Passengers must present passports with validity extending for the full length of their stay in Ireland. Crew IDs will suffice in place of passports. Some non-EU nationals require Schengen visas for Ireland, and these visas cannot be obtained on arrival. Arrival and departure cards are no longer necessary, but you’ll need to provide a General Aviation Report – preferably in advance – containing crew/passenger details in order to set up ground handling and CIQ. This report follows a specific format and can be filled out by your ground handler. Departure tax is payable for any passengers who’ve stayed in Ireland 24 hours or more.
Tech Stops at Dublin Airport
For technical stops, plan on 30 to 90 minutes on the ground (wheels down to wheels up). It’s recommended to pre-notify 24 hours in advance for all tech stops. Be aware that only the on-airport caterer has a permit to deliver in-flight catering airside. If catering is sourced off-airport, it will need to be delivered to your ground handler, who will take it to the aircraft.
The best time to visit is from March to October. Temperatures drop with plenty of rain during the other months.
May to October is Dublin’s peak season with the busiest months for GA being June, September and October.
Universal Aviation Ireland – Dublin Can Help
Universal Aviation Ireland-Dublin has more than two decades of experience in Dublin. Our team can help ensure your mission to Dublin is seamless.