Waterford Airport

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Waterford Airport
Aerfort Phort Láirge
WRA logo.jpg
1444480 13ca38b3 boarding.jpg
IATA: WATICAO: EIWF
WAT is located in Ireland
WAT
WAT
Location of Waterford Airport in Ireland
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Waterford Regional Airport
Serves Waterford, Ireland
Location Killowen
Elevation AMSL 119 ft / 36 m
Coordinates 52°11′14″N 007°05′13″W / 52.18722°N 7.08694°W / 52.18722; -7.08694 (Waterford Airport)Coordinates: 52°11′14″N 007°05′13″W / 52.18722°N 7.08694°W / 52.18722; -7.08694 (Waterford Airport)
Website www.waterfordairport.ie
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
03/21 1,433 (1,585) 4,701 (5,200) Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 80,000 Decrease23%
Sources: Airport website,[1] Irish AIS[2]

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[edit]

Airport development was initiated by Waterford Corporation with support from the Government of Ireland and the private sector in 1979–1980. The investment was £1.76 million.

1981 - 2006[edit]

The airport opened in 1981 with a 1,200 by 29 m (3,937 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[edit]

In 2006 Waterford Airport celebrated 21 years of scheduled operations.

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".[3]

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.[4]

On 10 January 2008 Aer Arann announced the return of the summer routes to Bordeaux, Faro, Málaga with a new service to Amsterdam.[5] 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.

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.

Passengers numbers through Waterford Airport in 2009 fall due to routes being suspended to Bordeaux, Faro, Malaga and Amsterdam and service reductions on routes to Birmingham, London Luton and Manchester. Overall passenger numbers from (UK) fell by 9% [6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

Aer Arann ATR 72-201 in Waterford

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.[9] Flybe will continue to operate 4 times weekly to Birmingham. Waterford hope to gain back some services particularly flights to London.

Flybe announced a route to Manchester starting 22 May 2013, which was dropped by Aer Lingus Regional on 6 January.

Future[edit]

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.

Flybe has indicated that the services to Waterford will be in place until at least 2014.

Facilities[edit]

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.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Flybe Birmingham, Manchester

Statistics[edit]

Passenger numbers
Year Passengers [P]  % Change [P] Movements [M]  % Change [M]
2003 24,000 Increase12% - -
2004 55,000 Increase22% - -
2005 71,000 Increase13% - -
2006 85,000 Increase12% 23,724 -
2007 116,000 Increase13% 30,156 Increase21%
2008 144,000 Increase12% 29,811 Decrease1%
2009 112,000[10] Decrease11% - -
2010 104,000 Decrease7% - -
2011 69,942 Decrease32% - -
2012 78,393 Increase12% - -

Ground transportation[edit]

Car[edit]

The airport is on the R708 road which can be accessed from the R710 outer ring road in Waterford. Car hire is available in the arrivals hall of the terminal building, with two car rental companies. 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. As Waterford is bypassed it is very easy to reach the airport from Dungarvan, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. After reaching the outer ring road three major primary routes can be accessed from Waterford, towards New Ross, Dublin, and Cork.

Other transportation connections[edit]

The nearest bus and coach station is 10km away in Waterford from where Bus Éireann provides services to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Rosslare Europort, Wexford, Clonmel and Tramore. JJ Kavanagh offers connections to Dublin Airport, Carlow and Tramore as well. There is also a railway station in Waterford offering services to Limerick via Tipperary, and Dublin Heuston via Carlow.

Companies based at Waterford Airport[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Waterford Airport at Wikimedia Commons