Ireland is putting the army on standby to help alleviate staffing issues at Dublin Airport if the hub is hit by more shortages in the coming weeks.

The army will be made available if needed to assist the Dublin Airport Authority during the peak holiday season of July and August, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan told RTE Radio on Tuesday. The DAA fears a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases could worsen staff shortages, leading to even longer queues for passengers.

“The army we think could have a role that could free up about 100 of the airport’s own security staff who in the event of a difficult period could then be working in the main security center,” Ryan said. “The airport themselves came with this proposal.” 

Dublin has been one of numerous airports across Europe that has been hit by staffing issues as passenger numbers surge again after a two year hiatus. The airport authority pledged to compensate some passengers who missed their flight because of long queues last month.

Soldiers could be used to secure the airport perimeter among other tasks, which would leave airport employees free to deal directly with passengers, Ryan said.