Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Personally i would like to see it in the city but in fairness anywhere between the Airport and the city would be fine. Its not a major journey from Limerick to the Airport…and with the Shannon tunnel well underway, journey times from Plassey/UL or Raheen etc will be considerably reduced. As it stands with the Ennis by pass open you can make the Airport from Galway in about 45 minutes. In fact I know of several people who already commute from Galway to Shannon daily as it is. The CPO’s are well underway for the Crusheen to Gort section of the Atlantic Corridor which will reduce it further. In fairness how long does it take from Dublin city centre to the Airport…? The Galway/Shannon/Limerick area is central to the Atlantic Corridor and would easily act as a counter to the East/West Coast imbalance.
However I can’t see this particular idea being a huge incentive for airlines to keep flying trans-atlantic from Shannon. If its not feasible they wont fly and a 2000 conference centre is not going to influence major American carriers! Far more important in that regard is the Airport’s plan for a terminal extension for which they just received planning permission from Clare County Council (subject to the usual 4 week period for appeals etc)! This will primarily involve an expansion of the existing pre-immigration facilities there to become a Full Customs and Border Protection Post which would give it a significant advantage in seeking new and continued transatlantic business at Shannon! This is subject to a feasibility study but talks are well under way with the Department of Transport, DAA and the CBP organization in the US and planned operating date for this is currently Summer 2008. This is vital! It would basically mean that any airline could fly from Shannon to any US domestic airport without having to go through one of the main US international hubs or any customs/immigration point after boarding at Shannon. A big plus for sure. Total passenger numbers (excluding transit passengers and military flights )are up 9.5% in Shannon for the first half of 2007 which compares favorably with Dublin’s 11% and Cork’s 4.5%. European numbers are up 16% while t/a traffic is down about 5% as would be expected with recent developments. Interesting times ahead for Shannon but i can’t see this conference center having any impact at this level. Welcome and positive yes but not a major bearer on t/a traffic at Shannon. The development of the 40 acre Westpark Business park is also a very positive development and is well under way..http://www.westparkshannon.com/