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Regional Airports

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,984 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Galway should go.
    Waterford should go.
    Derry should go.

    Knock maybe should stay as it serves a reasonably large catchment and is in the right location to serve the northwest.

    Really we only need Cork, Dublin, Shannon and Knock under those rules. Even Shannon will be only a 'maybe' if the M20 is done.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Waterford's future depends on whether they or Dublin win the war of mindshare now they're both a lot easier to access from most of the south east. It doesn't get PSO as it stands.

    Galway is entirely doomed. Kerry is almost doomed, improvements to the N21 etc will be its deathknell. Sligo is doomed already, I've no idea how its held on to its PSO.

    Donegal, Shannon, Cork and Knock will likely survive for the time being.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,152 Cakes.


    If they build that new airport in Westmeath and improve the infrastructure around the west and north west then there is no need for the smaller ones over that way.

    If they expand Shannon and improve the infrastructure down there it would eliminate the need for the ones down there.

    Maybe building train lines to the major ones ( ie Shannon, Dublin and (if they build it) Westmeath) it would almost defenitly abolish the need for a few of the smaller ones.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    If they build that new airport in Westmeath and improve the infrastructure around the west and north west then there is no need for the smaller ones over that way.

    If they expand Shannon and improve the infrastructure down there it would eliminate the need for the ones down there.

    Maybe building train lines to the major ones ( ie Shannon, Dublin and (if they build it) Westmeath) it would almost defenitly abolish the need for a few of the smaller ones.

    The Westmeath one is dreaming, it won't happen

    What expansion does Shannon need? Its already grossly under capacity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,152 Cakes.


    MYOB wrote: »
    The Westmeath one is dreaming, it won't happen

    What expansion does Shannon need? Its already grossly under capacity.

    If they were to do away with some of the smaller airports in the south region. It would increase the amount of people using Shannon.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    If they were to do away with some of the smaller airports in the south region. It would increase the amount of people using Shannon.

    It has the capacity to deal with the entire western region using it already, tbh.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    salonfire wrote: »
    What is the future of the Galway, Kerry, Donegal, Derry airports now that the road infrastructure has improved? (well bar to the nortwest)

    Looks like a cloud hanging over Derry, which would be bad news for Donegal

    http://www.highlandradio.com/2010/09/20/hanafin-promises-to-defend-derry-dublin-air-link-at-cabinet-table/

    Derry should probably stay at the expense of Donegal, since it's an actual city, and not just a 'catchment area', like Knock.

    However, if the future of Derry is in the least bit doubtful, why oh why did they just dual the A2 from the city to the airport. It looked a pretty marginal case for dualling anyway, and if you take out the airport traffic, it's not even that strategic.

    http://wesleyjohnston.com/roads/a2maydowndualling.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    I have advocated for years that as an ETOPS24 airport and its proximity to the ocean Shannon should be the Air Corps' main base (their Haulbowline). Ideally this would involve resurfacing 13/31.

    Sligo - close it. It needs a runway extension and there's no money for that even if the intended site wasn't wetlands.
    Carrickfin - keep the PSO
    Knock - withdraw the PSO
    Galway - withdraw the PSO
    Kerry - withdraw the PSO
    Waterford - they have no PSO - some marketing funds but no runway extension.
    Derry - withdraw the PSO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    I say get rid of Kerry, Shannon, Knock, and Donegal. What's the point?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    AngryLips wrote: »
    I say get rid of Kerry, Shannon, Knock, and Donegal. What's the point?

    Local egos?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,164 ✭✭✭ pg633


    I don't see Galway surviving - I haven't used it in ages and the road to Shannon makes that far more attractive.

    Also with Aer Arann in trouble you wonder would new owners keep all routes.

    Some of the Luton-Galway flights are full, some are empty.


  • Registered Users Posts: 954 ✭✭✭ Dick Turnip


    AngryLips wrote: »
    I say get rid of Kerry, Shannon, Knock, and Donegal. What's the point?

    You're clearly trolling but anyway.....so that people on the western seaboard don't have a 4/5 hour drive to dublin airport? is that a valid reason or concept?

    i'd agree with getting rid of Kerry & Donegal (if Derry is kept) but surely there's some merit in keeping Shannon(south & south west regions) and Knock (west & north west regions)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    There is too much overlap in catchment between the airports I mentioned with that of Cork, Galway and Sligo. Closing them would address that IMO


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,306 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    The Derry PSO should be kept until the new A5 dual carriageway is built.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 7,105 Stinicker


    Kerry Airport will always be needed until such case as Tralee is connected to Limerick and Killarney by either Motorway or 2X2, the N22 Ballvourney Ballincollig scheme needs to get moving and Kerry airport also serves a large portion of West Cork and West Limerick also. It provides a vital Business link with flights to Dublin and helps drive Kerry's Tourism oriented economy as it brings Tourists directly into Kerry.

    Kerry Airport is vital and will not be closed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 279 ✭✭ coolperson05


    I think that Sligo and Galway could definitely go. They will hopefully, with the M18/M17, have greater access to Shannon which should be promoted much better than it is at the moment. As with Kerry, with a good road, it wouldn't be needed either with Cork/Shannon around. Waterford could act as a helping hand to Dublin with the great travel times. Let Ryanair set up their base in Waterford (provided they get the runway extension) and Waterford is approx 1.5 - 2hours from Cork, Dublin and Limerick. Otherwise, close Waterford and just push Shannon which I believe has brilliant potential and is wasting away which money is pumped into the likes of Sligo-Dublin, etc. We probably don't have the travellers for more than Cork, Dublin, Shannon and maybe Knock atm.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Don't some Aran Island flights operate from Galway at the moment? I seem to remember a begging bowl thing for funds for a strip west of the city so those flights could go from there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    The Derry PSO should be kept until the new A5 dual carriageway is built.
    Until it is under the Republic's jurisdiction, no. Improve the road from CFN to east Donegal by all means.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    dowlingm wrote: »
    Don't some Aran Island flights operate from Galway at the moment? I seem to remember a begging bowl thing for funds for a strip west of the city so those flights could go from there.

    The flights to Árann go from the airstrip in Indreabhán, as far as I know they haven't flown from Galway in several years (if not longer)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,305 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Good thread.

    IMO, M20+M18/17 = close Galway and Shannon, but defo Galway first. Close Sligo, Donegal and Waterford. Improved N22 will close Kerry.

    For 32 counties and roughly 6 million dispersed people leave

    Belfast (does it need two airports? - close the city one), Dublin, Cork, Knock, Derry, and if any more needs closing start with the ones at the end of the list the first to go.

    If this budget is to mean anything, closing PSOs has to feature. Galway first (due to the M6).


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    We probably don't have the travellers for more than Cork, Dublin, Shannon and maybe Knock atm.
    serfboard wrote: »
    Belfast (does it need two airports? - close the city one), Dublin, Cork, Knock, Derry, and if any more needs closing start with the ones at the end of the list the first to go.

    Serfboard, you suggested that Derry could hypothetically be shut before Knock. Coolperson, you seemed to also support keeping Knock.

    Where is Knock supposed to serve? It is nowhere..

    Why should we shut Galway or Shannon (Limerick) and expect people from those cities to travel for 2+ hours to Dublin, while the very sparsely populated Northwest has its own international airport.. it's just nonsensical imo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭ Lifelike


    I agree with Stinicker above. Kerry airport won't be shut as it's seen significant investment from Ryanair over the past year, with new routes to Germany, Spain and Portugal. However, Sligo is doomed as its' sole route goes to Dublin


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,095 ✭✭✭ veryangryman


    oharach wrote: »
    Serfboard, you suggested that Derry could hypothetically be shut before Knock. Coolperson, you seemed to also support keeping Knock.

    Where is Knock supposed to serve? It is nowhere..

    Why should we shut Galway or Shannon (Limerick) and expect people from those cities to travel for 2+ hours to Dublin, while the very sparsely populated Northwest has its own international airport.. it's just nonsensical imo.

    Youll go to Knock and youll like it! :mad:

    Seriously though, i cant see any transatlantic traffic moving to Knock. I also really cant see the point in every poor feck having to go to Dublin to get to the States. As some posters point out, Shannon has alot of potential.

    Actually TBH pre-recession nobody was crying about any of our airports being a waste. What happens if or when we close some and then get out of recession. They would never return. All your doing here is taking jobs from the areas.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,010 ✭✭✭ fricatus


    Galway should go.
    Waterford should go.
    Derry should go.
    serfboard wrote: »
    close Galway and Shannon. Close Sligo, Donegal and Waterford.

    Why would we close any of our airports? That would be economic vandalism of the highest order. Sounds like something out of one of Mao's Five Year Plans!

    Definitely the PSOs make no sense now (apart from maybe Donegal, Derry and Kerry), so they should go, and then let the market sort things out.

    Just to comment on Waterford, mainly because it's the only one I know much about: I'm not sure about its ownership structure, but I don't think it receives any ongoing state support, other than some small marketing grants. It probably also receives rents from hosting the coastguard base, but that would be about it.

    It certainly doesn't benefit from any PSO, so whatever little state money goes into it is far outweighed by the economic benefits accruing to the south-east.

    I would have a few questions therefore for those asking for Waterford and other airports to be "closed", such as:
    - How exactly would you achieve their closure?
    - How would such closures benefit the economy?
    - What would you do with the coastguard base once the airport and ancillary services are closed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 721 mk6705


    As above, I don't think Kerry is in any trouble at all. The facts are the N22 and N21 are pretty bad, and won't be upgraded for a while. I don't think that'd be a huge threat, however.
    Cutbacks at Shannon have so far proved to be Kerry's gain. In a newspaper article (I presume this is true) Michael O'Leary (Whether he's playing games or not is fairly irrelevant) said that they carry more passengers through Kerry than Shannon.
    Tourism can also play a key part in keeping this airport open, and I believe this will grow in coming years.
    It's making a profit. I think it'd survive without the P.S.O. because Kerry to Dublin is probably the least used route at the airport.
    An improved N21 would improve access to Limerick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 947 ✭✭✭ xper


    fricatus wrote: »
    Why would we close any of our airports? ...
    I would have a few questions therefore for those asking for Waterford and other airports to be "closed", such as:
    - How exactly would you achieve their closure?
    - How would such closures benefit the economy?
    - What would you do with the coastguard base once the airport and ancillary services are closed?
    I have to concur. Some people seem to think that these airports are all publicly owned. They're not. PSOs are awarded to the airlines operating the specified routes, not the airport. Obviously, yes, if an airport's revenue is heavily dependent on a PSO route then it may face significant cutbacks in staff and services if that route's funding is withdrawn and you can make the case for and against that based on the benefit to the areas concerned versus the cost of the PSO provision. Some airports such as Kerry have commercial operations that are not PSO supported so the laws of supply and demand are clearly not totally against them. All these airports also generate income from non-airline operations (coastguard, general aviation, etc). There are plenty of airfields around the country that operate without any passenger services so if a PSO is withdrawn, the airport affecetd will not automatically need to disappear from the face of the earth.


  • Registered Users Posts: 600 ✭✭✭ Neworder79


    fricatus wrote: »
    Just to comment on Waterford, mainly because it's the only one I know much about: I'm not sure about its ownership structure, but I don't think it receives any ongoing state support, other than some small marketing grants.

    Waterford like all the other regional airports does receive capital grants for infrastructure and the Core Airports Operational Expenditure Subvention Scheme, which is awarded to loss making airports, €1,494,000 for Waterford in 2009 to pay for running ATC and airport services. This is the main annual subsidy to regional airports operation (with the exception of Kerry and Ireland West which were profitable for several years up to 2008 and did not apply).

    You're right that Waterford hasn't become dependent on the PSO for it's survival like Galway/Sligo/Donegal. But it's sole operator is Aer Arran who have up to now been cross subsidising it's commercial operations through the PSO grants.

    PSO made some sense when access to remote regions was very poor, but road and rail links are much improved in most cases and not justifiable now on cost and need basis. Whether the minister will have the bottle to go up against local interests is another thing, this years budget might settle the debate finally.

    There are many misconceptions about airports funding in this country due to the muddled aviation policy and lack of transparency in awarding funding. The reality is airports are costly to run and most can't operate without some form of subvention. Lets not forget the 3 state airports are directly funded and despite large commercial operations have debts of €616m which is far in excess of .


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,431 ✭✭✭ highlydebased


    Adro947 wrote: »
    As above, I don't think Kerry is in any trouble at all. The facts are the N22 and N21 are pretty bad, and won't be upgraded for a while. I don't think that'd be a huge threat, however.
    Cutbacks at Shannon have so far proved to be Kerry's gain. In a newspaper article (I presume this is true) Michael O'Leary (Whether he's playing games or not is fairly irrelevant) said that they carry more passengers through Kerry than Shannon.
    Tourism can also play a key part in keeping this airport open, and I believe this will grow in coming years.
    It's making a profit. I think it'd survive without the P.S.O. because Kerry to Dublin is probably the least used route at the airport.
    An improved N21 would improve access to Limerick.

    Well seeing as they operated more flights from Kerry this summer it was going to be true...considering anyone in the general Limerick/Shannon area had to drive to Kerry and fly from a shack instead!

    Ryanair is cutting back at Kerry now, seemingly removing the base because the PSO is not being renewed. One flight daily to Dublin with Stansted, Luton and Hahn remaining.


  • Registered Users Posts: 721 mk6705


    Well seeing as they operated more flights from Kerry this summer it was going to be true...considering anyone in the general Limerick/Shannon area had to drive to Kerry and fly from a shack instead!

    Ryanair is cutting back at Kerry now, seemingly removing the base because the PSO is not being renewed. One flight daily to Dublin with Stansted, Luton and Hahn remaining.

    A shack? It's a fairly small, well-kept building, not a shack. I assume your source is the Irish times, that's a bit misleading. The flights mentioned are the flights that go every day. There are still flights to Faro, Alicante and Weeze (Only talking about Ryanair here) and personally I believe there will be more routes added before the year is out.

    Also, the fact that they're still running one flight (the most used by far) shows that they still believe it's viable without the PSO.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,431 ✭✭✭ highlydebased


    Adro947 wrote: »
    A shack? It's a fairly small, well-kept building, not a shack. I assume your source is the Irish times, that's a bit misleading. The flights mentioned are the flights that go every day. There are still flights to Faro, Alicante and Weeze (Only talking about Ryanair here) and personally I believe there will be more routes added before the year is out.

    Also, the fact that they're still running one flight (the most used by far) shows that they still believe it's viable without the PSO.


    No, there's a Ryanair press release. No other routes are bookable after October apart from the above mentioned ones.
    The Minister for Transport has refused to honour the PSO contract which requires him to increase payments to reflect the Govt tourist tax and the Govt imposed increase in DAA and ATC charges which have added an extra €19 per passenger on the Kerry-Dublin route. Ryanair will now operate this route on a commercial basis without any PSO subsidy thereby saving the taxpayer almost €2 million p.a. Ryanair again calls for an ending to these PSO subsidies under which tiny passenger numbers receive enormous taxpayer subsidies to fund vastly inflated charges at Irish regional airports.
    Ryanair will, from 31st October, switch its Kerry based aircraft to another EU base where Govts are reducing airport fees and welcoming tourists instead of taxing them. Ryanair will, from 31st October, continue to operate four routes from Kerry to Dublin, Frankfurt Hahn, London Luton and London Stansted.”


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