Published on November 21st, 2021 | by Gabriel Desmond


Cork Runway Reopening Ceremony

Cork’s refurbished runway 16/34  was officially opened on 20 November prior to the first aircraft landings two days later. The first arrival will be an Aer Lingus A320 shortly after 6.00 am that will position in to operate the first departure to Heathrow at 07.45 am. Taoiseach Micheál Martin performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting, aided by Basil Geoghegan, DAA Chairman and Niall McCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport. 

The open-air event on a bright day was enlivened by music from the Cork Barrack Street Band and a choice of refreshments  from strategically convenient  food vans and tents. Left – The cheerful ladies of The Little Chicpea Company. 

The project was blessed by Bishops Fintan Gavin of the Diocese of Cork and Ross and Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  Hosting the event were Cork Airport and its parent company the DAA. Chief Executive Dalton Philips referred to the drive of Airport Manager Niall McCarthy and the courageous decision to close the airport for the construction period of just seventy days. 

The guest list of 250 included public representatives and leaders from the construction, aviation, tourism and other business sectors. Above, Captain Mark J Casey, CEO & Head of Training,  Atlantic Flight Training Academy, Con Dooney, Head of Fire, Airport Police and Operational Security at Cork Airport and Captain Aidan Murray, Chief Pilot, Ryanair. 

The entire runway has been resurfaced and then grooved to facilitate drainage and aircraft braking. The grooves are about 2cm apart. That’s a lot of grooves along the runway length of 2.133 km!

The runway electrical updating included these VASI lights – Visual Approach Slope Indicators.  These show pilots on finals the correct glideslope of three degrees using coloured lights which indicate if they are too high or low.

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About the Author

Cork based Gabriel Desmond has been documenting aviation in Ireland and around the world for over 50 years. A regular contributor to Flying in Ireland, his photographs and articles have been used in a wide range of aviation publications as well as news and corporate media

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