Business aviation lobby groups in Ireland, Europe, and the United States have lauded the Irish Aviation Authority's decision not to cap general aviation (GA) traffic at Dublin International for the winter 2024/2025 season, which would have resulted in a ban on non-scheduled flights, including business jets.

The Washington-based National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) - which represents the interests of 10,000 members who own, operate, and maintain business aircraft - in a letter to the IAA, welcomed the authority's April 11 draft decision on the Dublin Airport parameters for the Winter 24/25 season, which runs from October 27 to March 29. This followed a similar thumbs-up in a joint letter from the Irish Business & General Aviation Association (IBGAA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).

All three organisations underscored the IAA's "pragmatic", "logical, and common-sense approach" to the GA sector.

In its draft decision, the IAA decided that general aviation, which does not use Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, would not be limited by the passenger air transport movements (PATM) seat cap during Winter 2024/2025. The decision would be reviewed for future seasons.

The draft decision was viewed as particularly important given the airport handled less than 18,000 GA passengers in 2023. While GA passenger numbers were not voluminous, the lobby groups stated that the sector's importance to the Irish and, specifically, the Dublin economy is significant, contributing over 2,000 jobs and nearly EUR1 billion euros (USD1.09 billion) to the economy.

For commercial air traffic passing through Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, the IAA proposes to cap capacity at 14.4 million seats for the full Winter 2024 season. It said the seat count during Winter 2023 was just under 14.3 million seats, meaning the adjusted number would be sufficient for historic slot entitlements.