Originally Posted by bk
The only limiting factor at Cork is the length of the runway and therefore the ability to handle larger TA aircraft. There are plans to rectify this in due course.
How about Cat III ILS to deal with the frequent fogs which happen when you have an airport on top of a hill? Oh right there's the problem of that it's on the top of a hill and therefore CAT III installation is a massive undertaking, plus there's the likely need to extend 07/25 or face several crosswind diversions - the hairiest landing I've ever been in was an EI A321 onto 17/35 - if those wind weren't just inside limits for a 321 I never want to see one that are closer to them.
I'm from Cork. There's nothing I'd like better than to be able to fly into Cork direct rather than schlep to Dublin, Shannon or pay the LHR tax. But the amount of cash required to make ORK a decent alternative to DUB (assuming SNN closed) for diversions and scheduled TA ops would write off SNN's and ORK's debts in all likelihood. DAA made a balls of the ORK redevelopment, with the money they spent the new terminal could and probably should have had provision for separate immigration/customs "just in case" not to mention a goddamned set of airbridges working when it opened but what there is there is.
For me, Ireland's priorities should be the second runway at DUB (get it built now while the Portmarnock set are financially distressed and hopefully won't be able to hire more than a company of lawyers rather than the battalion they could have afforded in the Tiger era), closing Baldonnel and moving Air Corps HQ and fixed wing ops to Shannon and improving connectivity between the airports that probably can work (NOC, SNN, ORK, DUB, maybe KIR, maybe CFN) and discontinuing support to everywhere else.
If I was ORK management I'd be more worried about Aircoach than SNN, perhaps approaching them with a view to supporting the extension of Dublin-Cork stopping services to ORK (and thereby allowing Aircoach to fund reinstating a few of those replaced by Expresses) and after that looking at a Waterford service (which could also service the commuter market to the airport business park
in the N25 corridor)