Dublin Airport Authority

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daa plc
Founded 1937 (as Aer Rianta Teoranta)
Headquarters Dublin Airport,
Website http://www.daa.ie/

daa plc, previously Dublin Airport Authority, is a commercial semi-state airport company in Ireland. The company owns and operates Dublin Airport and Cork Airport. Its other subsidiaries include the travel retail business Aer Rianta International and daa International.

daa previously owned and operated Shannon Airport before Shannon Airport became a separate state-owned airport on 31 December 2012. The company also owned Great Southern Hotels, which had nine sites throughout the island of Ireland, until its sale in 2006. daa's head office is located in the original passenger terminal on the grounds of Dublin Airport in Fingal, County Dublin.


File:Aer Rianta logo.png
Aer Rianta logo until 2004.

Aer Rianta

Aer Rianta was founded in 1937 as Aer Rianta Teoranta and the name is derived from the Irish language for "air ways" or "air tracks"; Teoranta is the Irish word for Limited. Aer Rianta was to serve as a holding company for the national airline and to promote aviation generally.

In 1947, Aer Rianta started the duty-free shop concept in the Shannon Airport and are credited with the invention of duty-free shops in airports.[1] Aer Rianta was the principal shareholder of Aer Lingus during the airline's early days, until 1966.

Aer Rianta had control of Dublin Airport from its start although this was not formally or legally recognised until the passage of the Air Navigation and Transport Act of 1950. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Airport Manager at Dublin Airport, who was officially an employee of Aer Rianta, was also part of the Aer Lingus management team and reported to the Assistant General Manager of that company. In 1954, Prof. Patrick Lynch was appointed chairman of Aer Rianta at the young age of 38, taking on the task of turning the £60,000 deficit of the companies into a profit. He was chairman for 21 years to 1975, and retired from that position at his own request to the Government of the day. It was during this time that the Department of Transport and Power turned its attention to the long-term organisation of the three state airports. Due to the increasing complexity and costs associated with managing airports, and also due in no small part to the growth of non-aviation services (most notably duty-free sales), the need was felt in Ireland to establish one independent operation to manage Ireland's airports.

In 1966, the passage of the Air Companies Act enabled the transfer of Aer Lingus shares to the Minister of Finance, and separate boards were appointed to each company. A general manager of Aer Rianta was appointed in 1968. On 1 April 1969, Cork and Shannon airports became the responsibility of the company.

In 1988, Aer Rianta International (ARI) was created to pursue international potential to the company's growth not related to Irish airport management – for example, opening Russia's first duty free in Moscow in 1988. In 1998, Aer Rianta Teoranta became Aer Rianta cpt and kept this name until 2004.

Dublin Airport Authority/daa

In 2004, the Oireachtas passed the State Airports Act, 2004. This renamed Aer Rianta cpt as Dublin Airport Authority plc, and established Shannon Airport Authority plc and Cork Airport Authority plc. The three new authorities have power to formulate business plans for their respective airports, however they will not take charge of running the airports until further date to be determined by the Minister for Transport, which by law would not be before 1 May 2005. As of 2008 this had yet to take place. Significant outstanding issues to be resolved include competitiveness and debit restructuring.

The company also retains its significant shareholdings in foreign airports such as Düsseldorf and Larnaca, through its wholly owned subsidiary ARI, Aer Rianta International.

The State Airports Act was heavily criticised by Noel Hanlon, the outgoing chairman of Aer Rianta, and by the company's unions, who believed it a precursor to privatisation. No act to privatise Dublin Airport Authority or any of the airports has been passed however.

In July 2013, the Dublin Airport Authority was officially renamed daa by the Irish Government. The rename was principally to remove the "Dublin" and "Authority" elements of the name which were seen to have little relevance to the overall functions of the daa, namely the management of more than just Dublin Airport and its responsibility to grow the airports in Ireland rather than just manage them. According to daa, the new name will have positive associations with the general public and the aviation industry, while continuing to promote its key business components, namely Dublin and Cork airports, ARI retail operations and the new daa International subsidiary.[2]

The name change announced in July 2013 took effect on November 6, 2014.[3]

The current chairman of daa is Pádraig Ó Ríordáin.

Great Southern Hotels

In 1990, the nine Great Southern Hotels were purchased from Córas Iompair Éireann, including Derry, Northern Ireland.

In 2006, the company sold the nine Great Southern Hotels by trade sale, with the three airport hotels becoming CG Hotels, the Galway hotels being sold to Monogram Hotels, the Rosslare one becoming the St Helen's Hotel, and the Derry one becoming the City Hotel. CG Hotels later signed a management contract with Rezidor Hotel Group leading to both the Dublin and Cork hotels being rebranded Radisson SAS. The Shannon hotel became a Park Inn.

Board of Directors of daa

daa has a 13-person board of directors. Pádraig Ó Ríordáin was appointed chairman in January 2012. Ó Ríordáin is a Corporate Partner in Arthur Cox, the leading Irish law firm, where he served as managing partner from 2003 to 2011. In 2009, he was named European Managing Partner of the Year and, in 2012, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Managing Partners' Forum. He studied law in the National University of Ireland and Harvard Law School and has practised in New York and Dublin. He is a non-executive director of Paddy Power and of TVC Holdings.[4] Ó Ríordáin sits on the Insolvency Law Advisory Group to the European Commission.

Besides chairman Ó Ríordáin, the other members of the board of directors are:[5]

  • Colm McCarthy is a lecturer in economics at University College Dublin. He previously worked at the Central Bank, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and with DKM Economic Consultants. He also chaired the Irish government’s Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities.
  • Barry Nevin is a member of the daa board via the Worker Participation Act (WPA). Since 1990, he has been a member of Airport Police Fire Service stationed in Dublin Airport.
  • Gerry Walsh is an independent business advisor who provides strategic support to the boards and senior management teams of a number of Irish and international companies.
  • John Lynch heads the Europe and African marketing operations at aircraft leasing company BBAM and is managing director at its Zurich office.
  • Niall Greene is Chair of the Health, Safety, Security & Environment Committee.
  • Patricia King is vice-president of the trade union SIPTU.
  • Kevin Toland is the current chief executive of daa and was appointed in January 2013.
  • Paul Schutz was a former chief executive of Aer Arann.
  • Ann-Marie O’Sullivan was appointed to the Board in May 2013. A graduate of University College Cork and a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland, O’Sullivan is a communications professional, providing strategic communications counsel to large and small organisations across a broad spectrum of industry sectors. She is a Director of H+A Marketing + PR.[clarification needed]
  • Denis Smyth is since January 2014 another appointee via the Worker Participation Act. He joined the company in 1979 and currently holds the position of Airport Duty Manager.
  • Eric Nolan was appointed in January 2014 under the Worker Participation Act. He joined the company in 2003 and works in the Airport Police and Fire Service at Cork Airport.
  • Des Mullally was appointed in January 2014 under the Worker Participation Act. He joined the company in 1983 and is a Retail Sales Support Manager at Dublin Airport.


Dublin Airport

  • Dublin Airport is Ireland's largest airport.
  • Handled 21.7m passengers in 2014.
  • Dublin Airport is a major hub for US, European and international traffic.

Cork Airport

  • Cork Airport is Ireland's second largest airport.
  • Handled 2.1m passengers in 2014.


  1. Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Dublin Airport Authority Renamed
  3. http://www.daa.ie/gns/media-centre/press-releases/14-11-06/Name_Change_Takes_Effect_At_daa.aspx
  4. daa Annual Report 2012
  5. http://www.daa.ie/gns/company-profile/board-of-directors.aspx

External links