Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which owns and operates Dublin Airport and Cork Airport, intends to increase passenger charges from $8.92 (€8.50) to $15.29 (€14.58) by 2026 to enable its €2.5bn investment plan, The Irish Times reported.

DAA’s plan is in response to a review by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

The airport operator wants CAR to allow the company to increase the maximum per-passenger charge levied on airlines in stages.

Passenger charges are currently planned to increase to $9.4 (€9) in 2023, however, DAA wants the regulator to increase them further.

DAA CEO Dalton Philips was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Despite implementing a vast programme of emergency mitigations, 66 million passengers, €900m in revenue and more than €500m in earnings have been lost over the period 2020 to 2022.”

Philips explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the airport’s finances and changed the assumptions on which existing charges were based.

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He added that DAA’s net debt has soared to $1.04bn (€1bn), from $603m (€575m) in December 2019.

Last November, DAA submitted plans to the Fingal County Council to overhaul Dublin airport’s Terminal 1.

As part of the upgrade, DAA plans to replace the terminal’s core façade and roof with a structure that saves energy.

The refurbishment would also see a combination of glass and solid panels replacing the antiquated concrete fins.