Dublin Airport owner and operator DAA has announced that it is considering appealing against the aviation regulator’s decision to decrease passenger charges at the airport.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) recently decided to set a price of €7.87 for the next five years.

DAA said that the new price is 18% lower than its suggested flat pricing of €9.65, which was discussed one year ago with airlines.

The operator noted that the flat pricing proposal would have fetched around €2bn in funds, which could be used to construct new boarding gates, aircraft parking stands, an upgraded security area and other customer facilities improvements.

DAA added that Dublin Airport operates with relatively low charges, which results in airline competition and delivers more passenger choice. It argued that the price set by CAR is not indicative of the ‘market reality’.

DAA CEO Dalton Philips said: “Dublin Airport’s prices are already 30-40% lower than its European peers and the regulator’s decision will mean Dublin’s prices will now be almost 60% lower than the EU market price.

“Connectivity is vital to Ireland, particularly as it faces the uncertainties of Brexit and the regulator’s decision will limit Ireland’s ability to expand that connectivity, as we won’t be able to invest.

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“Forcing Dublin Airport to charge so far below the market price will have a hugely negative impact on our ability to finance the required investment programme at Dublin Airport.”

According to CAR, the decision would save airlines and passengers up to €320m over the next five years.

Countering this claim, Philips said: “Contrary to the regulator’s claim, airlines saving money does not benefit the Irish economy. Any reductions in airport charges have been going to the shareholders of privately-owned airlines, the majority of which are located overseas.

“There is no evidence that reductions in charges are passed onto consumers in the form of lower ticket prices.”