Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cork airport shambles

Cork airport's never had it easy really. Stuck on top of a hill, public transport links dubious, god awful when it rains. Runway 17/35 maybe a little short for direct transatlantic, and too sloping over the end for a Category III instrument landing system. 07/25 cut off by the Kinsale Road so only for the smallies. Fog all the time, cue excursions to Kerry, Dublin and Shannon. Meanwhile the airport gains its (kind of) independence from Dublin but loses key personnel, promised airbridges and promised debt-free beginnings.

But it's Cork's and not doing too badly in attracting more traffic, especially since Jetmagic persuaded Aer Lingus that people actually wanted to go somewhere other than Heathrow and Amsterdam.

We were getting a new terminal which hopefully wouldn't involve incoming passengers to wait on the apron in the freezing cold/wet/wind because of an overflowing immigration queue, missing flights because of check-in queues etc. Michael O'Leary offered to make the old terminal a low-cost pier and let Cork Airport Authority have it's gold plated toy. Well, it's more like fool's gold.

The airport operators committee (the airlines and other users of the airport) wrote a letter to the airport which the Indo picked up on Thursday. (rego required)
  • Space for queuing in the old terminal is better than in the new terminal.
  • Space for ticket and check-in staff is totally inadequate.
  • Self-service kiosks are located in the wrong area.
  • Only three passenger screening/X-ray arches are planned, totally inadequate for current passenger throughput.
  • Provision of only one air-bridge is a flagrant disregard for demands for better passenger embarkation facilities.
  • Despite the lack of air-bridges, passengers will not even have covered walkways for getting to and from aircraft.
Plus ├ža change, plus c'est la mauvais? Pardon my French...

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