THOUSANDS of holidaymakers from the north will be getting off on their summer holidays through Dublin Airport in the coming weeks.
And the airport's owner-operator daa has promised them a more seamless experience after just completing the installation of a new €200 million integrated baggage handling system.
Installation of the new system started during the Covid pandemic when the airport was extremely quiet, and was fully completed and deployed in May, including more than 14 kilometres of conveyor belts and covering an area the equivalent to seven GAA pitches.
The project involved an upgrading of the overall baggage system in line with European civil aviation standards, while future-proofing the system for up to 40 million passengers a year at Dublin Airport.
Kenny Jacobs, chief executive of daa, said: "This investment is good news for passengers checking-in bags at Dublin Airport this summer. The benefit of this big investment is a better and quicker integrated system across both T1 and T2, which will result in faster delivery of your bag to and from your aircraft.
"Having a modern, reliable baggage system with the optimum level of security available for our airlines and their handling partners is vital.
"The timely delivery of this major project earlier this year means the team at Dublin Airport and our baggage infrastructure are ready for a very busy summer ahead. The investment is timely as both the number of passengers and checked-in bags is set to grow over the coming years."
He added: "This project has seen 95 per cent of the previous equipment replaced, and the length of conveyor belt increasing from around 9 kilometres previously to 14 kilometres today.
"New and improved screening and detection technology has also been built into the system which features more tracking sensors and cameras to enable the early-spotting and removal of bag jams, which previously had the potential to slow down operations.
"In positive news for arriving passengers, Dublin Airport has also been working closely with handling providers and airlines, who are responsible for the handling of checked-in bags, to ensure quick bag turnaround times for passengers."
Mr Jacobs added: "The average time it takes for a passenger to receive their luggage at Dublin Airport is now among the lowest in Europe.
"Over the past six weeks, the average time it took for a bag to arrive - from the point the aircraft arrives on stand to when the first bag arrives on the baggage belt - has been 18 minutes, compared to the EU average of 40 minutes."