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DAA (styled "daa"), 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.[1]

DAA plc
Founded1937 (as Aer Rianta Teoranta)
HeadquartersDublin Airport,

DAA previously owned and operated Shannon Airport before Shannon Airport became a separate state-owned airport at the end of 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.


Aer RiantaEdit

Aer Rianta logo until 2004.

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.[2] 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.[citation needed]

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/DAAEdit

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.

The Dublin Airport Authority was officially renamed DAA with effect from November 2014.[3]

The current chairman of DAA is Basil Geoghegan, and its CEO is Dalton Philips.[4]

In 2016, DAA paid a €18.3m dividend to the State, its first since 2009.[5]

Great Southern HotelsEdit

In 1990, the nine Great Southern Hotels were purchased from Córas Iompair Éireann, and sold again in 2006. Edward Holdings, a company controlled by Galway businessman Gerry Barrett bought the Killarney, Eyre Square and Corrib hotels, while Dublin developer Bernard McNamara has bought the Parknasilla hotel in County Kerry. A company controlled by Ronan McArdle, Frank McArdle, Alan McIntosh and the Walsh brothers has acquired the three airport hotels at Dublin, Cork and Shannon.[6]

Airports and operationsEdit

Dublin AirportEdit

Cork AirportEdit

  • Cork Airport is Ireland's second largest airport.
  • Handled 2.3 million passengers in 2017.[7]

Other operationsEdit

Aer Rianta International operates travel retail/duty free outlets in 10 countries, with stores in countries such as Canada, Cyprus, India and New Zealand.[8] It also has outlets in several countries in the Middle East and in 2015 won a 10-year contract to operate duty-free stores at the new Midfield Terminal Building in Abu Dhabi International Airport.[9]

In 2016, DAA International won the contract to manage the new Terminal 5 at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "daa website".
  5. ^ John Mulligan. "DAA unions 'sharpen scalpel' on pay talks as dividend is revealed". Irish Independent.
  6. ^ "Seven Great Southern Hotels sold for €265m Codes". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Table 1: Number of passengers handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2015-2017". Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  8. ^ "ARI Worldwide Locations". Archived from the original on 18 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Aer Rianta International Group (ARI) wins duty free contract at Abu Dhabi International Airport". Archived from the original on 18 January 2017.
  10. ^ "DAA wins contract for Riyadh airport". Irish Times. 22 February 2016.

External linksEdit