GLOBAL project management and engineering giant Bechtel is ending a major partnership at Dublin Airport just two years into a five-year contract to help deliver billions of euro worth of infrastructure projects at the gateway, the Irish Independent has learned.
emi-state DAA is spending almost €2bn on infrastructure projects at Dublin Airport, including a new tunnel for service vehicles, new aircraft parking stands and other schemes such as new baggage screening facilities.
US-based Bechtel, with revenues of $17.5bn (€16bn) in 2021, is a key component in delivering those plans.
It’s understood that Bechtel held a meeting with staff this week to inform them that it would exit the contract in October this year. The DAA is also understood to have held a meeting with its staff members to inform them of Bechtel’s decision.
A spokeswoman for Bechtel confirmed on Thursday that the company will end its contract at Dublin Airport later this year.
“I can confirm that our arrangement as an integrated delivery partner for Dublin Airport’s capital investment programme will conclude later this year,” said the spokesperson. “Unfortunately, I am unable to comment further at this stage.”
A spokesman for the DAA also confirmed Bechtel’s exit later this year.
“DAA is fully committed to delivering at pace, key infrastructure projects under our €1.9bn capital investment programme, that will ensure a compelling service for air travellers in and out of Dublin Airport and a tender for an integrated delivery partner will be issued to the market in the near future,” the spokesperson said.
Bechtel was hired by the DAA in 2021 following a tender process.
The company noted at the time that the DAA had started the procurement process that year for a series of long-term projects at Dublin Airport.
“Bechtel will assist with the delivery of this new capital investment programme over the next five years,” it said.
“DAA’s decision to move ahead with the procurement processes for the works will allow the company to have construction projects shovel-ready for when passenger numbers have recovered from the impact of the global Covid pandemic,” it added.
The company’s then UK and Ireland managing director, John Williams, said Bechtel was “honoured” to be selected as Ireland’s first delivery partner within an integrated team.
“We embrace the opportunity to set the highest of standards for future infrastructure projects to follow,” he said. “Our team is excited t bring our experience and innovation to this hugely significant capital investment programme.”
Passenger traffic at Dublin Airport surged last year to 28.1 million people as a post-pandemic rebound in travel boosted numbers.
The figure compares to the just under 8.5 million that used the gateway in 2021 as the effects of the Covid crisis continued to impact travel.
Before Christmas, the Commission for Aviation Regulation, which regulates passenger charges at Dublin Airport, set the maximum charge that can be levied per passenger at levels between €7.59 and €7.77 from 2023 to 2026. The cap was €8.11. Dublin Airport had wanted a maximum charge of between €13.04 and €14.77.
The DAA insisted that the lower figure set by the CAR would have a detrimental effect on the number of staff that it will be able to employ for services such as passenger security processing, cleaning and other roles.