Kerry Airport

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Kerry Airport

Farranfore Airport

Aerfort Chiarraí
Kerry Airport, 2021-06-20, 01.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorKerry Airport plc
ServesCounty Kerry, Ireland
LocationFarranfore, County Kerry
Elevation AMSL112 ft / 34 m
Coordinates52°10′51″N 009°31′26″W / 52.18083°N 9.52389°W / 52.18083; -9.52389 (Kerry Airport)Coordinates: 52°10′51″N 009°31′26″W / 52.18083°N 9.52389°W / 52.18083; -9.52389 (Kerry Airport)
KIR is located in Ireland
Location of Kerry Airport in Ireland
Direction Length Surface
m ft
08/26 2,000 6,562 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
Passenger change 18-19Increase 1.2%
Source: Irish AIS[1]

Kerry Airport (Irish: Aerfort Chiarraí; IATA: KIR, ICAO: EIKY), often called Farranfore Airport, is an international airport in Farranfore, County Kerry, Ireland. It is 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi) north[1] of the Ring of Kerry and 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) southeast[1] of the county's capital Tralee. Passenger services are operated by Ryanair.[3] In 2017 Kerry Airport handled 335,480 passengers an increase of 3% over 2016.[4]


Kerry Airport was incorporated as a public limited company in July 1968, with its main objective of building and managing an airport at Farranfore. Various share capital fundraising programmes were undertaken and, together with great assistance from the various statutory bodies over the years, the airport has developed from a runway of 1,090 metres x 23 metres commissioned in 1969, to a runway of 1,239m x 30m commissioned in 1989, and a new runway of 2,000m x 45m opened in May 1994.

The first aircraft to land at Kerry Airport, on 25 August 1969, was piloted by Captain Milo Carr of the Department of Transport and Power. For a number of years the only aircraft using the aerodrome were light private aircraft and the occasional charter or cargo flight; extensive parachuting also took place. The first scheduled service was inaugurated in July 1979, using an Islander aircraft operated by Aer Arann.[5]

Encouraged by the apparent success of other regional airports in Ireland, the board of directors drew up a development plan to lengthen and widen the runway to 1,200m x 30m and to extend and upgrade the terminal buildings and to install an Instrument Landing System and appropriate lighting.[5]

On 5 August 1983, an Air France Concorde flew by Kerry Airport during visits to Dublin and Shannon Airport.

The runway was completed on schedule; the first scheduled flight into Kerry was on 22 May 1989 from Dublin by Aer Lingus, followed the next day by Ryanair from London-Luton. The contract for the new runway of 2,000m x 45m and the new terminal was signed in May 1993, and the official sod-turning ceremony was performed by Dick Spring TD, the Tánaiste.[5]

The Runway 08/26 was licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority on 20 May 1994, and the first flight landed at 13:23 local time on 20 May. It was a PA28 aircraft registration G-BLSD from Manchester, piloted by C. Gurley. This was followed by the first commercial flight by Aer Lingus, a Saab 340. Its registration was EI-CFD and it was commanded by Captain Peter Heinz.[6]

The airport is a public limited company, but is not quoted on any stock exchange. It had an operating profit of €179,329 in 2009 on a turnover of €6,252,221. This represented a fall of 32% from the previous financial year.[7] The operating profit for the year 2015 was €30,980.[8]

In January 2011, it was announced that 20 of the airport's 65 staff would be made redundant, owing to a fall in passenger numbers following Ryanair's withdrawal from its public service obligation (PSO) contract.[9]

It was announced in February 2012 that, owing to the codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus, the currently operated Dublin service with Aer Arann would be operated from 30 October 2012 under the brand Aer Lingus Regional.[10] Aer Arann was later rebranded as Stobart Air. Passenger numbers on the Dublin route operated by Aer Lingus Regional, increased by 13.5% in 2014.[11]

In February 2017, Ryanair announced they would commence a twice-weekly service to Berlin–Schönefeld from 2 November 2017.

In January 2020, Ryanair announced they would commence a twice weekly flight to Manchester from 29 March 2020, every Thursday and Sunday.


On 21 December 2010, a Ryanair flight landing (FR 701 from London Stansted) into Kerry was evacuated using emergency chutes due to smoke detected in the cockpit and cabin by passengers and crew during the landing. Investigators inspected the plane, but nothing major was found and the plane reentered service in the following days after the incident.[12]

Government support[edit]

The Government of Ireland has previously subsidised regional services under a PSO programme. A tender is offered for airlines to provide a minimum level of service in return for subsidy and a monopoly of the route. The tender is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Aer Arann were re-awarded the PSO for the 2005 offer programme but in 2008 it was awarded to Ryanair.[13]

In January 2018 Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, following a public tendering process was awarded a Public Service Obligation contract, linking the airport with Dublin, for the next four years.[14] However, Stobart Air collapsed part way through .[15] Ryanair subsequently picked up the route, this time on a commercial basis with no subsidy.[16]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate scheduled flights to and from Kerry Airport:[17]

Ryanair[18] Dublin, Frankfurt-Hahn, London–Luton, London–Stansted, Manchester
Seasonal: Alicante, Faro


Annual passenger traffic at KIR airport. See source Wikidata query.
5 busiest international routes at Kerry Airport (2019)
Rank Airport Passengers
% Change
1 United Kingdom London–Luton 110,428 Decrease00.3
2 United Kingdom London–Stansted 82,284 Increase02.7
3 Germany Hahn 50,798 Decrease02.0
4 Germany Berlin–Schönefeld 33,577 Increase03.3
5 Spain Alicante 21,236 Increase02.9
Source: Central Statistics Office[19]

Ground transportation[edit]


Farranfore Airport has no direct access by rail: Iarnród Éireann's Farranfore railway station is located 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) to the south with services to Tralee, Mallow, and Cork.


Kerry Airport is located on the N23 approximately 94 kilometres (58 mi) from Limerick and approximately 106 kilometres (66 mi) from Cork. Dublin is around 286 kilometres (178 mi) away from the airport. The N22 connects Tralee and Killarney where the N23 joins up with. Car Rental services at Kerry Airport are located in the Long Term Car Park,[20] with a range of providers offering services. Kerry Airport also offers taxis from directly outside the terminal entrance.


An airport bus terminal opened in January 2006.

Bus Éireann services from/to the airport:

  • Route 14: Limerick - Killarney[21]
  • Route 40: Cork - Tralee (limited service) [22]
  • Route 271: Tralee - Castleisland - Kerry Airport - Killarney[23]


  1. ^ a b c EIKY – KERRY (PDF). AIP and charts from the Irish Aviation Authority.
  2. ^ "Aviation Statistics 2019". Central Statistics Office. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Kerry Airport Timetables". Kerry Airport. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Table 1: Number of passengers handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2015-2017". Central Statistics Office. Archived from the original on 8 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "History - Kerry Airport". Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  6. ^ "About Kerry Airport". Kerry Airport. 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  7. ^ Donal Hickey (4 June 2010). "Kerry Airport reports 11% fall in passengers". Irish Examiner. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Kerry Airport Reports Increase In Operating Profit -". 30 May 2016. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  9. ^ "20 jobs to go at Kerry Airport". RTÉ News. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  10. ^ O'Brien, Ciara (14 March 2012). "Airlines to expand Aer Lingus Regional deal". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Kerry Airport passenger numbers down 4% in 2014". The Irish Times. 26 May 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  12. ^ Lucey, Anne (22 December 2010). "Cabin smoke triggers emergency evacuation of Ryanair flight in Kerry". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Ryanair will take up Kerrry offer". RTÉ News. 15 May 2008. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  14. ^ Quann, Jack (12 January 2018). "New contract awarded for air routes between Donegal, Kerry and Dublin". Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  15. ^ Goodbody, Will (12 June 2021). "Aer Lingus regional flights operated by Stobart Air cancelled". RTÉ News. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Ryanair confirms Dublin-Kerry launch in early 3Q21". CH Aviation. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  17. ^ - Flight Timetables Archived 20 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 9 September 2020
  18. ^ "Ryanair". Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Passenger Movement by Irish Airport, Direction, Foreign Airport and Month". Central Statistics Office. 24 April 2020. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Car Rental". Kerry Airport. Kerry Airport. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Bus Éireann timetable" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Bus Eireann Route 40" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Bus Eireann Route 271" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kerry Airport at Wikimedia Commons