Dublin Airport Terminal 2

How Dublin's new terminal got off to a flying start

Defying the odds to deliver a landmark aviation construction project in Ireland, we created a new transatlantic gateway able to accommodate millions more passengers, while maintaining the full airport operation.

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Dublin Airport Terminal 2 Project summary


Dublin Airport Authority

Key partners

Pascall & Watson, Arup, Mercury Engineering

Services provided

Construct, Construction management


Transport, Aviation


UK and Europe

Project timeline

Start date
January 2006
End date
March 2011

Project story

Our client Dublin Airport Authority faced a chronic problem of over-congestion. As a result we were appointed to help meet their two primary success criteria, which were to increase the overall capacity of the airport to 35 million passengers a year, while minimising disruption to people using the airport every day.

With careful planning, innovative use of prefabrication technologies and leadership in mutual cooperation, we were able to successfully deliver the terminal within the challenging 34 month programme.
We helped to devise a sequence of temporary roads and access points to the construction site that didn’t impact on the airport traffic, allowing for business as usual.

Heralded for its unique design, the airport has been called 'a complex beauty’. It was one of the biggest construction projects Ireland has ever seen, and our team rose to the challenge, creating a iconic, modern piece of infrastructure.

Dublin Airport Evening View - Mace Group

Project stats

13,700 tonnes of steel
1.5km of reusable, recycled plastic hoarding
1,000 jobs created in total

Points of note

A huge transformation

In addition to overseeing the construction of a new 75,000 sq m terminal building capable of handling 15 million passengers a year, the development included 83,000 sq m of aircraft pavement, a 25,000 sq m pier, 17,000 sq m of landside forecourt, and 3.5km of roads.

'Just in time' deliveries

Extensive prefabrication lay at the heart of the build, including the 20 tonne iconic roof steel girders which were bolted together at a low level, so saving both time and labour on site. A 'just in time' delivery system was also used to ensure excessive levels of material did not need to be stored on site.

Reusable hoardings

We used reusable, recycled plastic PVC for hoarding around the construction areas, a more environmentally friendly alternative to the timber which is traditionally used.

Bridging the gap

We developed creative design solutions to overcome fundamental challenges such as access. These included building a 45m long bridge covered with a striking, sweeping roof to link the check-in facilities with arrivals and departures.

Opportunities for local people

A social inclusion programme was introduced, providing training and employment opportunities to young people, and making sure that local communities were invested in the project.

Sharing our safety expertise

Putting our mantra Safety first. Second nature. into practice, we managed all operational training for the client, without a single major accident occurring during the £600m+ build.

“T2 was built in the heart of a live international airport in a fast-track design and construction programme, which at its peak was Ireland’s largest construction site. The construction programme was affected in a manner that had no impact on day-to-day operations at Dublin, which was a sine qua non for Mace. Mace and other members of the consortium successfully delivered an iconic yet functional and sustainable terminal, which has thus won 12 major awards and is widely praised by passengers and most certainly delivered in excess of our expectations.”