Dublin International airport operator Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has welcomed a decision by Ireland’s High Court to pause a local council order that would have forced it to limit night-time flights from September pending a full hearing on the matter.

The DAA’s challenge legal against the enforcement order will be heard next on November 14, the court’s website showed.

“While today’s decision does not solve the underlying planning issues, it is a pragmatic decision while we focus on maintaining vital international air connectivity,” DAA CEO Kenny Jacobs said on the day of the ruling, August 8. “Balancing the needs of a major international airport like Dublin with the needs of local communities and residents is always a delicate matter, but one we take extremely seriously.”

Pressured by local residents who said their health was being affected, Fingal County Council had given the authority six weeks to comply with planning rules for a second runway capping the total number of incoming and outbound flights at 2300L (2200Z) and 0700L (0600Z) at 65. Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) claimed it faced “mass cancellations” if the order was to be enforced as its first wave of daily flights departs between 0600L and 0700L. It suggested narrowing the restriction period to between 0000L and 0600L.

Nevertheless, the judge said that the county council could go to court on 48 hours’ notice to the DAA and seek to have the stay either removed or changed.

“The DAA has been seeking the removal of two onerous planning conditions since 2007,” Jacobs said. “The conditions attached to the initial grant for planning the North Runway, granted over 16 years ago, reflected the situation at that time which is vastly different to current operations. Modern aircraft are dramatically quieter than 16 years ago for a start, and the Ryanair and Aer Lingus fleets include a large number of new planes which are 50% quieter. It is imperative now that this matter is brought to a speedy and successful conclusion in the national interest.”

Ryanair did not immediately respond to ch-aviation’s request for comment.