Headache for holidaygoers as the CCPC blocks DAA from buying car park at Dublin Airport
Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

While the decision should have longer-term benefits for passengers, in the short term at least, it’s likely to cause headaches for those flying from Dublin Airport at busy times over the coming year.

If you've been lucky enough to be off on a foreign break over the past year or so you might have noticed that getting a car park space at Dublin Airport has been tricky at times. 

This is because for the past four years one of the airport’s main car parks - the QuickPark site on the Swords Road - has lain vacant.

The car park site, which was owned by property developer Gerry Gannon, closed at the height of the Covid pandemic as travel demand plummeted.

It never reopened even as travel demand rebounded and in March of last year the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) decided to buy it.  

However the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) decided to look into the deal on the basis that it might be anti-competitive as it would give DAA too much control over parking at the airport to the detriment of consumers. This is because, if the sale went ahead, DAA would own and control over 90% of all parking at the airport. 

And now, following an in-depth review, the CCPC has blocked the sale of the car park due to concerns that the resultant lack of competition between car park operators would likely lead to higher prices and a poorer service for consumers.

Competition among businesses is vital to drive value, consumer choice and innovation. Our investigation found that this deal would eliminate DAA’s only significant competitor for public car parking serving Dublin Airport and result in DAA essentially having a near monopoly. This would be likely to lead to higher prices for consumers because DAA would not have to compete to win car parking customers.

Brian McHugh, CCPC Chairperson


Approximate number of car park spaces 

DAA long term 




DAA short term


Clayton hotel


5 other various hotels 


*currently not in use

Good and bad news for consumers

While the decision will hopefully lead to more parking competition and lower charges for travellers at Dublin Airport in the longer-term, and one can understand where the CCPC is coming from, in the short term it’s likely to prove a major headache for many.

That’s because over 6,100 much-needed parking spaces will remain idle and out of action for another summer while passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are at record highs. 

This equates to around a fifth of all parking at the airport. 

It means at peak times this year, travellers coming to Dublin Airport by car are likely to have difficulty getting parking. Indeed already last October, in advance of the bank holiday weekend, Dublin Airport was forced to issue a statement saying nearly all parking spaces were fully booked and pleading with passengers with no bookings not to drive to the airport.

Needless to say, DAA hasn’t been best pleased with the CCPC’s decision. 

The CEO has called the decision ‘bad news for passengers’ and said it might appeal.

DAA is baffled by the CCPC view that DAA buying the facility would have led to car park prices increasing. It would have the opposite effect, as is the norm in supply and demand economics. Permitting DAA to operate the former QuickPark facility would have made 6,200 much-needed and currently idle parking spaces available to passengers once again, resulting in increased choice and lower prices for the travelling public.

Kenny Jacobs, CEO of DAA

What happens now?

The car park was, and remains, an attractive and viable business opportunity for other buyers. So hopefully another business will step in over the coming months to buy it. 

DAA and the CCPC might also manage to come to some type of agreement. However the DAA has said that it's already offered to give up one third of the spaces to a third party to help alleviate the CCPC's concerns but to no avail. So it looks like the competition body is eager for a different operator to run the site entirely. 

In the meantime, if you're travelling to Dublin Airport by car at busy times over the coming year, make sure you book your parking well in advance so that you’re not disappointed.

Also, consider travelling to the airport by bus or taxi or arrange to get dropped off. And depending on where you live and where you’re going, consider flying from one of the country’s other airports. 

And keep hoping that the long-awaited metro to the airport gets built one day!

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And here's our guide on how to avoid roaming fees when travelling outside the EU.