Published on December 1st, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


Department of the Gaeltacht to Buy Connemara Airport

Reports this week suggest the Department of the Gaeltacht will pay €2.75 million for Connemara Airport (Aerfort na Mine) in a deal that is hoped to be concluded before the end of the year. The deal should have been completed by March this year but there was a disagreement between Aer Arann and the Department about the value of the airport. Aer Arann is owned by Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh.

The Irish Times reported that government ministers had been told that the airport was “of strategic importance” in maintaining an essential air service to the islands. Last October the Department of the Gaeltacht first expressed an interest in the purchase of the Connemara Airport. Aer Arann then informed the Department that it would be withdrawing from its two service contracts – the contract for the service itself and the contract for the use of the Connemara Airport at Inverin.

The Galway Aviation Services Ltd. contract for the provision of the air service to the three Aran Islands has recently been announced for a four-month contract worth approximately € 800,000 per annum. The 2017-2020 contract covers about 3,500 annual flights between the three Aran Islands and Connemara Airport. The service has carried 42,000 people annually at peak, but this figure has fallen to just over 30,000 according to the Irish Times.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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