|IATA: ORK – ICAO: EICK
|Owner||Government of Ireland|
|Serves||Cork City, Ireland|
|Location||Ballyphehane, County Cork|
|Elevation AMSL||502 ft / 153 m|
|Passenger change 11-12||0.9%|
|Air Transport Movements||21,784|
|Movements change 11-12||1.8%|
|Sources: Airport website
Cork Airport, (Irish: Aerfort Chorcaí) (IATA: ORK, ICAO: EICK), is one of the three principal international airports of Ireland, along with Dublin and Shannon. It is located 6.5 km (4.0 mi) south of Cork City in an area known as Farmers Cross. In 2012, Cork Airport handled 2.34 million passengers, making it the state's second busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers, after Dublin, and fourth busiest on the island of Ireland, after Dublin, Belfast International and Belfast City.
1957 to 1979
In 1957 the Government of Ireland agreed in principle to the building of an airport for Cork. After considering many sites in the area, it was agreed that the airport should be built at Ballygarvan. Tenders were invited for the construction of the airport in 1959 at an estimated cost of £1 million. The airport was officially opened on 16 October 1961, following proving flights four days earlier by Aer Lingus and Cambrian Airways. Vincent Fanning was the first manager at the airport. In its first year the airport handled 10,172 passengers – close to the average number of passengers handled each day at the airport in 2007. Throughout the 1960s the airport expanded with the arrival of more advanced aircraft and more destinations. The first jet, a British Overseas Airways Corporation Comet, landed at Cork Airport on 29 March 1964. By 1969 Aer Lingus was operating to London Heathrow, Manchester and Bristol.
In 1975 Aer Rianta, the then state airports authority, undertook a passenger terminal study aimed at improving the terminal facilities. The findings resulted in the provision, over the next two years, of new departure and arrival halls, a new check-in area, office complex, information desk, duty office and executive lounge. The new extensions and facilities were opened in 1978.
1980 to 2000
The 1980s began with an extension of the main apron. New services to London Gatwick began, while Aer Lingus' commuter division started a new domestic service to Dublin Airport. In 1985 following significant growth, Aer Rianta carried out a survey of the terminal facilities with a view to carrying out a major expansion and development programme. On 8 June 1987, Ryanair commenced services at Cork Airport. The following year, Phase I of the Terminal Expansion and Development Plan was completed. The following year the main runway extension of 1,000 ft (300 m) was opened.
The 1990s began with the completion of Phase II of the terminal expansion in 1991, and Phase III being completed in 1992 with the plan being brought to completion in 1994.
2001 to date
A Great Southern Hotel was opened on the airport grounds during 2001, and plans were drawn up for the construction of a new terminal building and ancillary capital investment works at an estimated cost of €140 million.
Also towards the end of 2001, new Irish regional airline Aer Arann opened its second base at Cork opening new routes to/from the airport.
Along with the construction of the terminal, roads were upgraded from single to dual carriageway and re-aligned, a new short term multi-storey car park constructed and key services enhanced to the highest international standards. Airbridges were an integral element of the original terminal design. However, only one airbridge was built because airline representatives from the low-cost carriers who use Cork Airport made it clear that they did not want airbridges, would not use them and would not pay for them. In the given circumstances, the DAA had no choice but to remove the airbridges from the terminal design during construction of the new facility. The new terminal was completed with four fixed links to the main building and is designed to accommodate additional airbridges if and when airlines indicate that they wish to avail of them.
In 2005, Ryanair opened its 15th European base and second Irish base at Cork. The following year, the new terminal opened on 15 August. Designed by HOK and Jacobs Engineering Group, the new terminal was Ireland's first 21st century airport terminal. In terms of further expansion, the terminal can be extended in the form of additional piers which can be constructed to the north and south.
On 11 April 2008, the board of Cork Airport Authority agreed by one vote to accept responsibility for a debt of €113 million incurred by the Dublin Airport Authority in the redevelopment of Cork Airport in order to secure independence from Dublin Airport. This was despite government commitments that the Cork Airport Authority would be established on a debt-free basis. The Cork Airport Authority Board also stated that their strong reservations about the level of debt that Cork Airport was being levied with and the potential impact on its future sustainability. On 21 April 2008, Cork Airport Authority chairman, Joe Gantly, announced his resignation effective from the end of July 2008 by which time he had completed five years service with the board. The current chairman of Cork Airport Authority is Gerry Walsh.
On 16 October 2011, Cork Airport celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
New control tower
The Irish Aviation Authority completed a new control tower 1 km from the old terminal to the west of the main runway. The total cost was €7.5 million and was funded entirely by the IAA with no government funding. Construction began in August 2007 and was completed in June 2008 but it took until mid October 2009 to get all the new systems tested and working. The new control tower officially opened on 20 October 2009 at 00:01.
General aviation and business jets
Cork Airport has a long history of general aviation flying. Both fixed wing and rotary wing flight training providers operate at the airport. These flying schools are located to the south of the terminal building, on the east side of the main runway. Cork Airport also serves a lot of business jets.
With an elevation of 153 m (502 ft) above sea level, Cork Airport is sometimes prone to fog and a low cloud ceiling. The Instrument Landing System has been upgraded to Category II, and together with a 305 m (1,001 ft) extension of the main runway has significantly reduced the number of diversions. However during times of severe inclement weather the airport can suffer from delays or diversions to airports such as Shannon, Dublin or Kerry. Similarly, diversions from these airports occasionally land at Cork.
The length of the main runway dictates that the airport cannot handle fully laden large widebody aircraft. Large wide-bodied aircraft do visit Cork Airport on an irregular basis, for example to operate ad-hoc charter services for flights to various sporting events such as those the Munster Rugby team.
From its opening in 1961 the airport was managed by the Department of Transport and Power, now the Department of Transport. Aer Rianta took control of Cork and Shannon airports on 1 April 1969 and the assets of the airports were transferred to the company under the Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act, 1998. The name of Aer Rianta was changed to the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) under the State Airports Act 2004, which also created the Cork Airport Authority and the Shannon Airport Authority. These companies were charged with preparing a business plan in preparation for taking over the assets of their airports from the DAA.
On dates yet to be confirmed, the Cork and Shannon Airport Authorities will have the relevant airport assets vested in them and assume full responsibility for the management, development and operation of Cork and Shannon airports respectively. In the interim, the board of the DAA has transferred significant day-to-day operational responsibility, under delegated authority, to the boards of the Cork and Shannon Airport Authorities.
The new terminal at Cork Airport contains several shopping and eating facilities both before and after the security screening area, a bank with bureau de change service and an executive lounge. There are also various vending machines throughout the terminal. Paid Internet access is available throughout the terminal at computer terminals. There is also free Wi-Fi available for passengers throughout the terminal. Free internet access is also available in the Jack Lynch Lounge for frequent flyers and business class passengers.
There are two hotels located adjacent to the passenger terminal Cork International Airport Hotel, located in the business park, and a Park Inn by Radisson located directly opposite the terminal on airport grounds.
Cork Airport has a development plan that will effectively treble the size of the current airport. According to the plan, the airport will be developed over a phased basis from 2015.
The cargo area, currently located to the north–east of the airport, will be moved to the south–east of the airport grounds, the current location of the general aviation area. In moving here, the general aviation area will be transferred directly opposite the main runway to the south–west of airport, just south of Runway 7. Work on this aspect of the plan is expected to begin in 2016.
Using space from the removal of the cargo area, the main terminal can then be extended northwards, allowing new fixed gates to be built. This would effectively double the current space for aircraft using Cork. The old terminal will be demolished allowing the current terminal to also extend to the south if required. It is expected that this work will begin in 2017 when passenger numbers are predicted to exceed three million, the current limit of the airport.
The main runway 17/35 is to be extended, with feasibility studies due to be carried out in 2012. This will allow for long–haul aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 at the airport. Work should begin on the extension of the runway when the cargo area has been moved and the extension of the terminal has gotten underway.
The road network and public transport infrastructure will also be developed to cope with increasing passenger traffic. This will comprise the upgrade of the N27 to motorway standard with two lanes in each direction as well as a dedicated bus lane for city–bound traffic. The roundabout at the entrance of the airport will be enhanced with an under-pass to allow traffic between Cork and Kinsale to avoid the roundabout, thus allowing extra capacity on the roundabout itself. Work on the upgrade of the roundabout is scheduled to begin in 2015.
Airlines and destinations
operated by Air Contractors
|Dublin, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shannon|
Passenger numbers at Cork Airport increased every year during the ten years between 1998 and 2008 by an average of 14.8% per annum from around 1.3 million to over 3.2 million. Passenger numbers fell however during the subsequent four years to 2.34 million in 2012.
|Updated: 8 February 2013.|
1998–2001 – Aer Rianta
2002–2005 – DAA
2006–2012 – DAA
In addition to passengers travelling on routes within Ireland during 2012, the following table shows the number of passengers on international routes at the airport during the year.
|Rank||Airport||Passengers|| % Change
|1||United Kingdom – London Heathrow||384,137||3.0|
|2||United Kingdom – London Stansted||231,000||5.0|
|3||Netherlands – Amsterdam||170,883||2.7|
|4||United Kingdom – London Gatwick||166,184||8.3|
|5||Spain – Malaga||120,632||3.2|
|6||France – Paris Charles de Gaulle||90,600||0.3|
|7||Spain – Lanzarote||82,377||1.5|
|8||United Kingdom – Birmingham||80,347||6.3|
|9||United Kingdom – Manchester||79,339||12.0|
|10||Portugal – Faro||72,914||10.2|
|Source: Central Statistics Office (Ireland)|
- Bus, train
The airport is served by taxi. There is a taxi rank located outside the arrivals entrance.
Cork Airport is located 8 km from Cork city centre at the south end of the N27 when coming from the north, west, or east of Cork, and off the R600 when coming from Kinsale. The M8 motorway provides a link to the airport for north-east County Cork and County Tipperary.
- Car hire
Car hire is available in the arrivals hall of the terminal building, with nine car rental firms located at the airport.
- Car parking
Cork Airport Authority operates all car parks at the airport and offers both short-term and long-term parking within the airport campus with over 4,600 spaces available in total. Special rates are available for frequent users of car parking facilities at Cork Airport. All car parks operate 24 hours and are regularly patrolled by Airport Police.
Incidents and accidents
- On 24 March 1968, Aer Lingus Flight 712 departed Cork at 10.32 for a flight to London Heathrow and was cleared for FL170. The crew reported at the Bannow reporting point at FL170 at 10.57 and were instructed to change frequency to London Airways. Just eight seconds after first reporting on the London air traffic control frequency, a message was received which was later interpreted as "Twelve thousand feet descending spinning rapidly". The Vickers Viscount descended and struck the sea 1.7 NM (3.1 km; 2.0 mi) from Tuskar Rock. All 61 passengers including crew died on board.
- On 10 February 2011, a Flight Avia Metroliner SW4, with flight number NM7100, operating for Manx2 from Belfast-City to Cork crashed on landing, killing six people and injuring a further six. The commuter flight from Belfast had 10 passengers and two crew on board when it crashed in heavy fog at 9.45am. It was reported that it was the aircraft's third attempt at landing in foggy conditions. The aircraft registered EC-ITP, ended up upside down adjacent to taxiway C (Charlie) just past the turnpad at Runway 17.
- On 22 May 2011, at around 4.30pm a man approached a member of the Garda Síochána in Cork City Centre who was sitting in his traffic corp jeep. The man got into the vehicle began to beat up the Garda, produced a knife, before slashing his face, the Garda then jumped from his jeep. The man then hijacked the Garda's traffic corps jeep before, hitting vehicles en route to Cork Airport while Gardaí gave chase. At around 4.50pm the man arrived at Cork Airport, rammed through the perimeter fence near the Cargo terminal (Gate 19), before abandoning the Garda jeep after it broke down, he then again produced a knife, and again hijacked a vehicle which belonged to the Airport Fire Service, by this time Air Traffic Control had suspended all operations. The man began to drive erratically coming into close contact with a Thomas Cook flight driving underneath the aircraft at high speed, the incident was captured on YouTube by a passenger waiting to board a flight. The man proceeded to ram several Garda and airport vehicles, before attempting to ram an Aer Lingus aircraft bound for Amsterdam. The man's vehicle stalled which prevented him from ramming the Aer Lingus jet, the jeep halted just feet from the Airbus A320-200 aircraft, where members of the Armed Gardaí subdued the man by tasering him, during the chase in the airport another Garda was injured and transported to hospital after his car was rammed by the assailant. Flights where resumed after the man was removed from airport property and the perimeter secured.
- Cork Airport, official website
- PDF). AIP and charts from the Irish Aviation Authority. (
- Cork Airport Information about Cork Airport
- RTÉ analysis
- Cork Airport – Airport Authority
- IAA Opens new Cork Airport control tower
- Cork Airport Authority
- Shannon Airport Authority
- Cork Airport Multi Modal Mobility
- Cork Airport Future needs Study
- Special Local Area Plan for Cork Airport
- Special Local Area Plan for Cork Airport updated June 2010
- Scheduled flights
- Charter flights
- Cargo flights
- Aer Rianta Regional Analysis of Passenger Movements
- Dublin Airport Authority plc Annual Report and Accounts 2005
- CSO Ireland Database – Air Passenger Movement
- Car Hire|CorkAirport.com
- RTÉ - Six Killed in Cork plane crash
- BBC - Plane wreckage being removed from Cork Airport runway
- YouTube video of incident including Thomas Cook incident.
- Cork Airport Incident May 2011 - RTE
- Cork Airport Incident May 2011 - Irish Times
- Cork Airport Incident May 2011 - Irish Examiner
- Cork Airport Incident May 2011 - Newstalk