Bid to introduce seaplanes to Cork and Limerick

APPLICATIONS will be made shortly for landing and take-off rights for seaplanes in the harbours of Cork and Limerick.

The proposed moves come as Galway has become only the second city in Europe to grant planning permission for seaplane operations.

Harbour Flights Ireland has already acquired flight rights at Mountshannon, Co Clare and will lodge further applications shortly in Foynes and Cobh.

Pending approvals from the Galway and Limerick harbour masters and the Irish Aviation Authority, the company hopes to commence its first commercial flights in late September with daily flights being offered from and to Mountshannon, Galway, Aran island Inis Mór, and Limerick.

Harbour Flights Ireland chief executive Emelyn Heapes said the company intended to start operations with two Cessna aircraft and upgrade them next year when Dublin, Cork and Waterford become operational.

“Part of the overall operational plans is to align the seaplane operation with existing hotels and we are proud that to date we have been given approvals from the Harbour Hotel in Galway and the Clarion Hotel in Limerick to use their hotels as the departure and arrivals locations for operations,” Mr Heapes said.

The only other city in Europe hosting seaplane flights is Glasgow.

“Our mission is to change tourism by being able to offer for the first time in the history of the state, a sea plane operation linked to existing accommodation and attractions based around Ireland,” Mr Heapes said,

It is intended the sea planes will be based in Mountshannon and all operations will start from there on a daily basis.

Mr Heapes said the inland lake offers better protection from inclement weather conditions.


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