Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) has called on Ireland’s transport minister, Eamon Ryan, to take “urgent action” to halt a “stupid decision” to cut the number of night-time flights at Dublin airport with six weeks’ notice.

Fingal County Council, the local authority that governs the area to the north of the Irish capital where the airport is located, has issued airport operator Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) with an enforcement notice giving it six weeks to comply with planning rules capping the number of flights at 2300L and 0700L (2200-0600Z) at 65.

Residents living near the flight path complain that their sleep is being severely disrupted and that aircraft noise increased when a second runway opened in August 2022 at a cost of EUR320 million euros (USD352 million). The cap was among the planning conditions imposed when the new North Runway was greenlighted in 2007.

However, the DAA has long opposed the night-flight limit, and chief executive Kenny Jacobs claims that enforcement will bring disruption for passengers close to the peak holiday season. With it, there will be fewer flights between 2300L and 0700L than was the case before the second runway opened, he said.

According to Ryanair, the municipality “cannot be allowed to dictate national aviation policy or restrict flights to/from Ireland at our national airport.” It added that “the airport will now be restricted to fewer flights than there were when there was only one runway.”

It suggested that Ryan shift the night-time restriction period to 1200L-0600L, which “would avoid disruption to the vast majority of first-wave flights which depart Dublin between 0600L and 0700L [and] allow Transatlantic flights which arrive early to land before the 6am curfew but would not result in significant flight restrictions.”

Fingal council “and a tiny number of neighbours cannot be allowed to damage or restrict air travel or connectivity to/from Ireland,” the carrier said.

Sabrina Joyce Kemper of the Fingal Organised Residents United Movement (Forum) told BBC News NI that the campaign was only asking for the existing rules to be obeyed. Ryanair is acting like a “petulant teenager”, she said, and has “no real grasp” on how the noise affects thousands of residents young and old, raising health concerns about disturbed sleep patterns.

Ryanair operates 65 routes out of Dublin as of the week starting August 7, the ch-aviation capacities module shows, accounting for 1,018 weekly frequencies.