The Minister for Justice and Equality announced a major programme to civilianise the immigration function at Passport Control currently carried out by An Garda Síochána.
An additional 80 civilian staff are to be deployed on a 24/7 basis at border control booths at the airport in a major initiative to release Gardaí for core policing duties, she said.
The Minister was speaking as she visited the passport control area in Terminal 1 arrivals today, accompanied by daa Chief Executive Kevin Toland and Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.
“As part of my focus on reforming policing in Ireland, I am committed to examining and pursuing all opportunities to civilianise non–frontline Garda tasks, to get Gardaí out from behind desks and provide a visible policing service on the ground.”
She said this initiative made sense both from an efficiency and economic perspective.
“The programme, starting with Dublin Airport, will free up Garda members for other core policing duties while also allowing the immigration service of my Department to both reduce costs and continue to discharge the effective management of our border and immigration system.”
The first phase of the “civilianisation” of the airport immigration will begin immediately.
Of the 125 Gardai being redeployed, 75 will come from the appointment of civilians at the airport and 50 from the from the transfer of the immigration permission registration function from An Garda Síochána to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of the Department of Justice and Equality (INIS).
DAA CEO, Kevin Toland described the Minister’s announcement as “very good news for the airport.”
He said Dublin Airport was growing very strongly again this year and it was particularly important that security at border controls was very strong, both going out and coming in, and that the passenger experience was secure, friendly and quick.
He added: “Security, border control, safety, they’re the core features of the airport business.”