I'm giving a lift to a friend next Friday who is visiting relatives in Westport. We will be flying to the west in a FR172 from White Waltham via Haverforwest. I'll be dropping the friend off, fuelling up and heading off to the sunny south east and my family for the weekend. Then on Tuesday I'll be doing the trip in reverse. What I can't make up my mind about is whether to use Knock or Sligo. My friends relatives will meet us at either. Knock haven't answered any of my emails. So a couple of questions :
Which is easier for dropping off / picking up a passenger in terms of access / security hassle etc?
Which is more GA friendly?
My only previous visit to Knock found me parked on the cargo ramp and access wasn't easy - is this still the case?
Any other advice.
PS Any aviation related events / fly-ins happening next weekend (29/30 May) that I could drop into?
I was in sligo a few weeks ago and its a lovely airport. Its a ten euro landing fee, not sure about parking though. They do nice ham and cheese toasties. Regards access, its certainly straight forward to get in and out to ur plane, but not sure about coming to the airport by car.
The airport itself is situated amongst some great scenery and the lady in the tower is always helpful.
Cant offer much on knock as ive only ever flown over it. One things is for sure though if the weather is like it is today it'll be beautiful.
I visited Knock by air about a month ago. We were rerouted South to eventually take up a left downwind for the eastern end of the runway, despite there being no commercial traffic.When we landed, we were directed to the Club ramp and later collected by van (tatty) and brought up a bumpy, potholed road and left off at the junkyard which masquerades as a baggage area at the side of the terminal. The main ramp was being renovated and had two 737s present so no room for our humble Arrow.Inside, the terminal is bright and airy and grub is good, plentiful, and reasonably priced. Getting out is a bit of a saga as you have to get a pretend boarding pass from the Information desk, pay your landing fee,go thru departures, find the van man and get back to the ramp, back along the bumpy road past a trail of dumped vehicles.
Upside: friendly people.
Downside: extraction is convoluted and the place is a bit of a tip, airside.
I cannot speak one way or another about Knock but our Sligo experience was very positive apart from the delay accessing our aircraft due to the Aer Arann flight. JUst check the schedules with ATC or Airport management
I'm tending towards Sligo principally because:
1. Ease of passenger drop off/ pick up
2. No scheduled commercial activity during the time I plan to be there.
3. It looks like landing fee & fuel are slightly cheaper at Sligo.
My colleagues brother in law will be in Sligo on business so the pick up /drop off is not a problem.
I tend to judge Irish airfields against my experience of American airports and in a lot of ways, the experience is not a good one.If you told an American pilot at any airport, that he would have to wait for an hour for an ATR to be turned around,he would take his business elsewhere and stay away and tell his mates to do the same( and get AOPA to administer a bollocking to the airport manager). Same with Knock.If you told an American pilot that he would have to walk through a junkyard to get to his aircraft, he'll vote with his feet and stay away.This does not mean that he thinks he's a superior being, it means that if he is prepared to buy fuel and food and pay landing charges, then he wants to treated with respect and not be treated like a second-class citizen.He regards his dollar as being as good as the next man, which is why, in American airports/airfields, their excellent FBOs cater for all comers and get repeat business.
Only drawback of the entire trip was having to divert round MOA4 which was active from Haverfordwest on Friday and back yesterday. Couldn't get a crossing from the military.
The trip up to Sligo yesterday from Gorey got me talking to an Aussie on Dublin 118.5 - lots of 'G'days' and 'Uluru's' (I think that was it) made me smile anyway.
Altogether a good trip.
I'm a little confused about your reference to MOA4 and Harverfordwest.
Are you referting to the MOA4 near Baldonnel in east of Ireland?
If so did they refuse you entry at any level?
Admittedly most of my flying is done at the weekends, but I've never been refused entry to Baldonnel airspace. I've had my routing changed, and I've been kept not about 1000ft on occasion, asked to hold on other occasions, but never actually refused.
Maybe it's a weekend/weekday thing?
Yesterday my planned route was Sligo - Longford - Tullamore - Athy - BAKUR (FIR Crossing point) - Haverfordwest. MOA 4 closed - no crossing up to FL120 (I seem to remember) available. Routed Longford - Moate - MountRath - Castlecomer - Enniscorthy - BAKUR. Mind you it was great VFR but added about 20 minutes to planned trip. Block time was 2.4hrs, then 1.9 from Haverfordwest to White Waltham. Sligo to White Waltham is just outside max range of the 172 (4.5hrs) and definitely outside the range of my bladder.
FL55Out of curousity was altitude were you at? Was it high?
Actually didn't get the crossing northbound last week either. Shannon notified me as we were heading NW over Gorey that they couldn't get a crossing MOA4 closed and R16 active - requested to route immediately west of Carlow and Portlaoise. I was down at 3000ft - Shannon were very helpful trying to co-ordinate, as low over North Wexford / South West Wicklow its almost impossible to get Dublin or Dublin Military.
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