Cork Airport traffic down, as Dublin and Shannon take off

Air traffic through Cork Airport has nosedived for the third consecutive month — as Dublin and Shannon continue to grow.

Figures released by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) show commercial traffic at the debt-saddled airport slumped 8.8% in March (1,489 movements). This follows falls of 16.3% in January and 6.2% in February.

By contrast, commercial traffic at Dublin airport grew by 11.5%, and at Shannon by 0.6%.

The IAA figures show total air traffic in Irish airspace grew by 5.3% during the first quarter of 2015 to 114,527 flights, including a 7.2% increase in commercial movements at the three State airports, compared to the same period last year.

En-route traffic — flights which pass through Irish airspace but do not land — grew 4.3% and North Atlantic communications flights (Europe/US flights) saw an increase of 2% in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2014.

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IAA chief executive Eamonn Brennan welcomed the continued overall growth through Irish airports.

“Our traffic statistics highlight a sustained upward trend in the demand for air traffic between Europe and North America during the first quarter of 2015. Likewise traffic at Dublin airport is continuing to increase year-on-year, on top of strong gains in 2014”, he said.

Mr Brennan also welcomed Ireland being ranked joint first out of 29 European states for the its effectiveness of safety management — the key safety performance indicator relating to the State’s oversight of air navigation services.

“The Effectiveness of Safety Management measure is an important yardstick of the State’s safety oversight of air traffic management. It is very encouraging to see Ireland performing well and highlights our robust safety oversight capability,” he said.

Meanwhile, new safety procedures including the closure of two taxiways, have been introduced at Dublin Airport after two Ryanair jet’s clipped each other on April 1.

A preliminary report from the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport has confirmed the move, which followed an interim safety recommendation by the AAIU after the incident.

The IAA has also launched an investigation after two passengers were allowed access to the cockpit of a Ryanair flight between Dublin and Schoenefeld in Germany last Friday. The passengers were off-duty Ryanair crew members.

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