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  • Galway Airport

    Passing the disgraceful redundant Galway Airport thanks to Leo I was just thinking would it not be a good option for the Government to purchase it as a forward operating base for the Air Corps, base a Casa and a few other machines there and have Air Corps personnel operating it, it could also be used as a refuelling depot for the Air Corps and Coastguard when required rather than leaving a perfect Airport to rot away when it should be operational in some shape or form. It would be a good operational base for the Maritime Patrol Unit and the number of times Rescue 115 or Rescue 118 have had to leave a search area in Galway to return to Shannon for fuel when they could drop into Galway for a hot refuel and back out again in a very short time. Thoughts ????

  • #2
    Not sure why I'm sticking my oar in here as I'm not usually as interested in aviation side of the house.

    The driving force for the purchase of the airport for AC or CG should be an actual requirement and use case for the infrastructure.

    Does shaving some air miles off a CASA patrol or a refueling spot for CG helicopters justify personnel, infrastructure, security and equipment in Galway? Not an expert here, but I'd suggest not.

    While it's disappointing to see an airport falling into disuse, that shouldn't mean it should be used at any cost by state or state contracted assets.

    Best keep the airport in good order in case better civil use can be incentivised in future.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it not owned by Galway CC, who don't really know what to do with it and keep arguing amongst themselves about developing a "Long term Master Plan" for the Site (Yes Site and not Airport - Their term not mine) and was leased to a local flying club Pre-Covid?
      It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
      It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
      It was a new age...It was the end of history.
      It was the year everything changed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well it is no longer used as an airport (only by a flying club)

        its runway is shorter than both Cork and Waterford. It is in relative close proximity to Shannon (60 mins by road).

        to be viable it needs flights (see above and Dublin Airport is a 120 min drive)



        if I was a local TD I’d be asking why not use Galway Airport for the flights to Aran rather than the smaller more remote Connemara Airport?

        yes it would be a longer flight time to the islands, have a negative effect on Connemara economy but I’m thinking it would be good for tourism and commuting

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DeV View Post
          Well it is no longer used as an airport (only by a flying club)

          its runway is shorter than both Cork and Waterford. It is in relative close proximity to Shannon (60 mins by road).

          to be viable it needs flights (see above and Dublin Airport is a 120 min drive)



          if I was a local TD I’d be asking why not use Galway Airport for the flights to Aran rather than the smaller more remote Connemara Airport?

          yes it would be a longer flight time to the islands, have a negative effect on Connemara economy but I’m thinking it would be good for tourism and commuting
          This came up a few years ago when it was proposed to replace the planes with a helicopter and the Islanders didn't want that, due to the fact that if the last plane to the Islands from the mainland are cancelled due to weather, it is only a short journey to Ros an Mhíl for the last ferry to the Islands, which leaves IIRC approx. 30mins after the last scheduled Flight.
          It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
          It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
          It was a new age...It was the end of history.
          It was the year everything changed.

          Comment


          • #6
            It was purchased by Galway Chamber of Commerce and ran as best they could do it, they went to Leo who was transport Minister at the time looking for 100k which he refused he then gave Waterford 400k which was in the same financial situation as Galway he even blocked a grant from the EU, Galway Chamber then sold it to Galway City and County Councils who still own it, in relation to Helicopters especially to the Aran Islands check out this facebook page which lists every helicopter landing at UHG and where they come from there is hardly a day or night goes by with out some one coming in wonderful service https://www.facebook.com/helimoves/

            Comment


            • #7
              The Galway people clamoured for an airport and when they got it,they said it was too short for jets and in the wrong place (their words,from a local deeply involved with the airport). Some people had this quaint notion that Yanks would be able to fly in and then hop on an Islander and fly out to the Aran Islands, which of course did not happen. The buying public stayed away in droves and preferred to drive to Knock to get a cheap flight to Luton with Ryanair. Others wanted constant,regular , dirt cheap flights to Dublin but you can't run a Fokker 50 to Galway when the crew are on EI Atlantic wages and going from GWY to deep into the UK or Europe in an F50 was not going to work, either. When they did try jets, they could only get an RJ 85 in as long as it took a half load of pax, so it wouldn't make money. It also didnt have an ILS so bad weather caused diversions to Knock , killing any profit. They also failed to market it to the extensive business community in the Galway for executive flights or cargo flights. Apart from that, Sligo and Knock were competing with them and Knock prevailed,to this day. Apart from all that, there were many other reasons,including local political messing about, much improved roads and things like Inishbofin and Clifden getting huge runways built that no-one is allowed to use. Galway CC appear to have no idea how to run a municipal airport and probably wish it would blow away in the night and be reborn as an industrial estate. A lot of genuine people over the years have tried very hard to make it work but a lot of factors have worked against it. The country is over supplied with regional airports,as it is and they are used as a tool to strong arm Government. Putting the Air Corps in there would effectively be little more than a forced subsidy from the State,when Shannon would be a much better option for a devolved AC base in the West, for so many reasons.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                The Galway people clamoured for an airport and when they got it,they said it was too short for jets and in the wrong place (their words,from a local deeply involved with the airport). Some people had this quaint notion that Yanks would be able to fly in and then hop on an Islander and fly out to the Aran Islands, which of course did not happen. The buying public stayed away in droves and preferred to drive to Knock to get a cheap flight to Luton with Ryanair. Others wanted constant,regular , dirt cheap flights to Dublin but you can't run a Fokker 50 to Galway when the crew are on EI Atlantic wages and going from GWY to deep into the UK or Europe in an F50 was not going to work, either. When they did try jets, they could only get an RJ 85 in as long as it took a half load of pax, so it wouldn't make money. It also didnt have an ILS so bad weather caused diversions to Knock , killing any profit. They also failed to market it to the extensive business community in the Galway for executive flights or cargo flights. Apart from that, Sligo and Knock were competing with them and Knock prevailed,to this day. Apart from all that, there were many other reasons,including local political messing about, much improved roads and things like Inishbofin and Clifden getting huge runways built that no-one is allowed to use. Galway CC appear to have no idea how to run a municipal airport and probably wish it would blow away in the night and be reborn as an industrial estate. A lot of genuine people over the years have tried very hard to make it work but a lot of factors have worked against it. The country is over supplied with regional airports,as it is and they are used as a tool to strong arm Government. Putting the Air Corps in there would effectively be little more than a forced subsidy from the State,when Shannon would be a much better option for a devolved AC base in the West, for so many reasons.
                Galway Airport was doing great for and was in 2007 the fastest growing Airport in Ireland see below other routes added included Cork, Belfast and in Summer Malaga which I used twice.

                Link: https://www.bing.com/search?q=galway...IE11TR&pc=HCTE
                1. Galway is the fastest growing airport in Ireland?
                2. The airport was gaining in popularity and in 2003 Aer Arann launched two more routes to Manchester and Edinburgh with two further routes to Birmingham and Lorient launched in 2004. By 2007, Galway was officially the fastest growing airport in Ireland, fast exceeding international airports with passenger growth at 63% per annum at that time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It wasn't filling those aircraft, in many cases and there was always a demand for jets. If the runway had been extended so that it could accept a 737,you'd have been beating people away with a stick but,but. Lots of buts. The motorways have reduced the need for regionals and the airport didnt fail for a single reason but a lot of them. I'd love for it to be a successful,working airport but subsidising it by forcing the AC to go there is not the way. The place would have to be substantially rebuilt for a start,as it's infrastructure is ancient.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I remember one Friday I was going to London and there were four ATRs out front going to London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Dublin the Terminal inside was very full great times there used to be two ATRs based there. we had some great firsts there for the Salthill Air Show, US Air Force Hercules landed there, 3 RAF Harriers , 2 French Air Force Alpha Jets, British Airways BAE 146 Jet. Aer Arann used the 146 to Lorient and Malaga, How I wish it was still open.
                    Last edited by Brian McGrath; 23 April 2021, 14:50.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The origins of Galway Airport go back to a German in 1974 and not about jets flying in full of tourists. Galway is one of the medical tech centers in Ireland and has many international companies for which the airport was useful. But like many airports around the country it was limited by the 1289m runway, Could it be extended, yes, there was and still is room to extend to the west. Is there a need? That is the big question, true back at its height it had over 300,000 passengers, that's a lot of ATR42s. But since then the motorways to both Dublin and Shannon have been completed.

                      If there is one thing we are not short of it is airports, and not all will support operations of an A320 or B737. Even some that do the question has to be asked is it necessary. When finally in the year 2121 the motorway between Limerick and Cock is finally opened is there a need for Shannon and Cork Airports? And if not what should the State do with these strategic assets? Maybe the transition to the next generation of regional zero emission aircraft will enable these smaller airports to operate along side Dublin. The electric ES-19 from Heart Aerospace might means we could see services connecting Kerry to Galway, Waterford to Donegal, who knows. What is clear that if the Air Corps ever needed to establish a base other than at the Don there are plenty of options.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Since the M18 was built, Both Shannon and Knock are less than an hours drive from Galway. Once it lost the island hoppers, it's days were numbered.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Like I said before, the RJ 85 was effectively the only usable jet. A 146-200 or 300 could not take full fuel and full pax to certain destinations,as it was barely faster than a turboprop, could not climb to the fuel efficient flight levels of an A320 or 737 and was at the pin of it's collar to make a profit out of Galway. If there was a decent cargo operation out of there,you'd make money. If there was an associated business park alongside, that fed the airport with cargo to ship out or like Waterford Airport, paid rent that subsidised the airport, you'd make it work. As for Aer Arran to the islands, that particular political/personal rabbit hole is not for the faint hearted but it is connected to Irish Aviation in the wider sense. The sad fact is that the buying public tended to vote with their feet and bring their money to Knock or Shannon to be able to reach into Europe. Even before the M18, people were prepared to drive to Knock or Shannon and still are.....apart from that, it could do with a decent flying school and access for routine General aviation, such as charter aircraft,executive jets and private aircraft. You'll find good examples in Europe and the US of how to make a regional airport work, but it takes hard work, political will and the ability to think laterally and keep prices for users real. The use of State aircraft is only part of a wider fix for the place.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This Bombardier 5000 was a regular caller from the US for Metronic
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                              Like I said before, the RJ 85 was effectively the only usable jet. A 146-200 or 300 could not take full fuel and full pax to certain destinations,as it was barely faster than a turboprop, could not climb to the fuel efficient flight levels of an A320 or 737 and was at the pin of it's collar to make a profit out of Galway. If there was a decent cargo operation out of there,you'd make money. If there was an associated business park alongside, that fed the airport with cargo to ship out or like Waterford Airport, paid rent that subsidised the airport, you'd make it work. As for Aer Arran to the islands, that particular political/personal rabbit hole is not for the faint hearted but it is connected to Irish Aviation in the wider sense. The sad fact is that the buying public tended to vote with their feet and bring their money to Knock or Shannon to be able to reach into Europe. Even before the M18, people were prepared to drive to Knock or Shannon and still are.....apart from that, it could do with a decent flying school and access for routine General aviation, such as charter aircraft,executive jets and private aircraft. You'll find good examples in Europe and the US of how to make a regional airport work, but it takes hard work, political will and the ability to think laterally and keep prices for users real. The use of State aircraft is only part of a wider fix for the place.
                              Baden-Karlsruhe (on the French-German border) came to mind when you mentioned regional airports. Former RCAF base during the Cold War days. Small museum there too
                              "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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