Aerfort Phort Láirge
|IATA: WAT – ICAO: EIWF
|Operator||Waterford Regional Airport|
|Location||Killowen, Waterford, Ireland|
|Elevation AMSL||119 ft / 36 m|
|03/21||1,433 (1,585)||4,701 (5,200)||Asphalt|
|Sources: Airport website, Irish AIS|
Waterford Airport (Irish: Aerfort Phort Láirge) (IATA: WAT, ICAO: EIWF), is 4.9 NM (9.1 km; 5.6 mi) south-east of Waterford. It is in Killowen near Waterford City serving the south-east of Ireland. The airport is operated by Waterford Regional Airport Plc. In 2011 80,000 passengers passed through the airport.
History and development
1981 - 2006
The airport opened in 1981 with a 1,200 by 29 m (3,900 by 95 ft) runway for single and twin-engine light aircraft and a portable cabin as terminal building. In 1992 the current terminal building was opened and the runway expanded to 1,433 by 30 m (4,701 by 98 ft).
Avair provided the first domestic passenger service in 1982 to Dublin, which originated in Cork. In 1985 Ryanair launched the company's first international scheduled service from Waterford to London Gatwick, before upgrading and switching the service to London Luton.
Between 1987 and 1988 Aer Lingus operated services to Dublin. During 1993 Orient Air operated services to Gloucestershire, London Luton and Jersey. From 1993 to 2000 Manx Airlines flew to London Stansted and Manchester.
Between 1994 and 1999, Suckling Airways operated to London Luton, and during 1996 Emerald Airways operated services to Liverpool. From 2001 to 2003 Euroceltic Airways flew to London Luton, Liverpool and Dublin.
2006 - 2013
In 2006 Waterford Airport celebrated 21 years of scheduled operations.
On 14 May 2007 Aer Arann announced that they would open up a base in Waterford Airport and they also announced services to Birmingham. The airline based an ATR 72-201 at Waterford Airport to operate the services. On the same day Aer Arann announced three new international routes from Waterford to Bordeaux, Faro, Malaga.
On 16 January 2009 all these services were suspended due to cost saving programme announced by Aer Arann due to the downturn in passenger traffic.
In February 2010 a Economic Impact Assessment of Waterford Airport was published and it highlighted the importance of Waterford Airport to the South East. Waterford Airport is key to the economy of the South East region and its set to play a more vital role in promoting business, tourism and the region's economic development in the future.
On 12 May 2010 Aer Arann announced an expansion of services from Waterford to London and Galway. The airline said that there was high demand for services to London Luton and that the load factors of the Galway flights was very high. This was a welcomed boost for the airport as passengers numbers were down as a result of the downturn.
On 14 March 2012, Aer Arann transferred all of its Waterford routes into the Aer Lingus Regional brand effective from 25 March 2012. Flybe launched a daily service to Birmingham on 25 March 2012.
In November 2012, Aer Arann and Aer Lingus Regional announced the closure of all services from Waterford effective from January 6, 2013. Flybe will continue to operate 4 times weekly to Birmingham. Waterford hope to gain back some services particularly flights to London.
Flybe has indicated that the services to Waterford will be in place until at least 2014. Flybe also confirmed a route to Manchester starting 22 May 2013, which was dropped by Aer Lingus Regional on 6 January.
Waterford Airport has four check-in desks, an information desk, two boarding gates and two baggage carousels. The airport has two hundred car parking spaces. Free WiFi is available within the airport terminal. There are two snack bars in the airport—one before security and one in the departures hall. There are also car rental services, a taxi service rank, First Aid, Baby/Parent Room, and Disabled Access/Facilities.
On 13 March 2007 a €27.5 million upgrade of Waterford Airport was announced. Over the next two years the money was be spent on extending the runway to 7,300 ft in length, building a new passenger terminal capable of handling one million passengers a year and introducing scheduled flights to European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Prague and Rome. There was also an expectation of charter flights to Mediterranean holiday resorts. The expansion would mean that air travellers in the southeast of Ireland would have a "credible alternative" to Dublin and Cork airports, according to officials at Waterford Airport. According to the chief executive of Waterford Airport, Graham Doyle, the extended runway was to be in place by summer 2009 and capable of handling large jet aircraft, including the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737".
On 9 March 2010 Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey announced there would be no funding for the runway extension at the airport due to difficulties with the public finances and that security and safety were a priority which are going ahead.
The fully upgraded and remodelled connecting regional road, R708, from Waterford city to the airport was completed in early July 2008, reducing the journey time from Waterford city centre to the airport to 10 minutes at off peak times and from the outer ring road, R470, to the airport to 5 minutes.
On 5 December 2011 the airport will start the first phase of upgrading the runway with a complete resurface and grooving of the existing runway surface.
On 12 August 2013 it was reported that a 150m extension of the runway would be funded by the Department of Transport of up to €400,000. This may allow new types of aircraft use the runway in the hope of gaining services to London after Aer Arann removed them from their network in January 2013. The airport itself will have to raise the remaining €850,000 for it to take place.
Airlines and destinations
|Year||Passengers [P]||% Change [P]||Movements [M]||% Change [M]|
Passengers numbers through Waterford Airport in 2009 fall due to routes being suspended to Bordeaux, Faro, Malaga and Amsterdam. and services reductions on routes to Birmingham, London Luton and Manchester. Overall passenger numbers from (UK) fell by 9% 
Passenger numbers for the first five months of 2010 are slightly down on those for 2009 but passenger numbers on the London Luton service are up by 604 passengers on this time last year. Those for Manchester and Birmingham are down slightly.
In 2011 the drop in passenger numbers was caused by Aer Arann moving the morning and the evening flights (to London) from Luton to Southend and using the smaller ATR 42 rather than the ATR 72 which was previously used.
|Means of transport||Available||Operator||Nearest Station||Destination||Website|
|Taxi||Yes||Available in Arrivals Hall||Terminal building||Varies|
|- Bus||No||Bus Éireann||Waterford||Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Rosslare Europort, Wexford, Clonmel, Tramore & City Centre Services||http://www.buseireann.ie/|
|JJ Kavanagh||Waterford||Dublin Airport, Carlow, Tramore||http://www.jjkavanagh.ie/|
The airport is on the R708 road which can be accessed from the R710 outer ring road in Waterford City. As Waterford City is bypassed it is very easy to reach the airport from Dungarvan, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. Once you reach the outer ring road you can access three major primary routes from Waterford.
Major roads from Waterford city
|Kilkenny - Carlow - Dublin||---|
|Clonmel - Tipperary - Limerick||---|
|New Ross - Wexford - Rosslare Europort (east)||E-30|
|Dungarvan - Youghal - Cork (east)||E-30|
|Waterford City - Port of Waterford||---|
- Car hire
Car hire is available in the arrivals hall of the terminal building, with two car rental companies.
- Car parking
There are 200 car parking spaces outside the terminal. Cars may only be parked during the airport opening hours and vehicles can not be accessed outside of airport opening hours.
Companies based at Waterford Airport
- Waterford Airport is the base for the South East Rescue Helicopter operated by the Irish Coast Guard and provides 24 hour rescue cover. The aircraft currently being used are the Sikorsky S61, which will be upgraded to a Sikorsky S92 by Summer 2013.
- Waterford Aero Club is based at the airport. The club is registered with the Irish Aviation Authority, as a Registered Training Facility and can conduct training to a private pilot standard. The 4 aircraft located there are a Piper Warrior, Cherokee & 2 Tecnam P2002-JF.
- The International Academy of Travel provides cabin crew, check-in, reservation sales, travel agency and holiday representative training to candidates hoping to obtain jobs in the travel industry.
- Shamrock Aviation is an aircraft maintenance facility based at Waterford Airport and offers aircraft and engine services and repair facilities.
- Waterford Airport, official site
- PDF). AIP and charts from the Irish Aviation Authority. (
- Waterford Airport welcomes capital investment of €27.5 million
- Waterford Airport tender for runway works
- Waterford Aero Club website
- Pilot Training College Ireland website
- Pilot Training College UK website
- South Coast Helicopters
- International Academy of Travel
- Diary of a PTC Student