Aran Islands

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Hayden Lawford
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Hayden Lawford » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:25 pm

Amish,
That's a good summary, I think that you are so right that a lot of the current problems date back to the tragic events of 2007. The Irish legal sytem is notorious when it comes to litigation! I would ask one question though - does your insurance cover use of unlicenced airfields WITHOUT PRIOR PPR?

There is a lot to be said for the way GA is allowed to operate in the US. For all the restrictive European legislation I don't think that GA here is any safer than in the USA, which has a much more practical approach. A lot of what goes on on this side of the Atlantic is about keeping burocrats employed!

amish
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by amish » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:45 pm

P.M
Last edited by amish on Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tolka
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Tolka » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:27 pm

The following is an extract about Inis Mor in the AIC:
REMARKS:- Prior Permission Required. Intense commercial operations serving the island.
At least 3 hours PPR required by email, Fax or Telephone from Licensee.
Landing fees applicable.

Caution: Airport is CLOSED outside of the times of Aer Arann Islands Operations (0900 -1700
March-September, 0900-1500 October-February) and is subject to restrictions. Landing
prohibited if unable to establish radio contact with Inis Mor Airport on 123.00 MHz.
Possible downdraughts and turbulence with Westerly winds.
Is the airfield radio manned all the time. Is there a danger that you could get PPR from Aer Arann (the telephone no. is for their Inverin base) but no one at Inis Mor replies to your radio call. According to the above wording you can't land unless radio contact is made. If that happens you could have flown all the way to the Islands and then have to turn around and go home.

BDoyle
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by BDoyle » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:29 pm

I am glad to hear that someone is using Inishbofin. we have already spent over €3.2 million at February 2010 and that is just for Inishbofin. the Department gave me that figure when i asked for permission to land and was told to bugger off pending the completion of a terminal building. i did point out that a building is not necessary to use an airfield but a wind sock would be handy. the problem is that no one in these authorities has any idea as to how aviation actually works. worse they dont care.
what a shame that Cleggan is now a rubbish dump. it too could be open immediatly. frequent use would discourage dumping.

as for the difficulties of flying into the aran islands mentioned above they are no more difficult than anywhere else. people are put off by these statements. if you are current, careful and competent then there is no extra issue with the islands that anywhere else. they are (were) a great place to visit.

Hayden Lawford
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Hayden Lawford » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:03 pm

Amish,
Thanks for that, and congratulations on your airmanship. If you think that it has taken a long time to get Inishbofin operational you may be interested to know that I carried out a survey there way back in '77, and identified a site which I believe is now the present airfield!

As to costs, Inishmore was built back in 1970 for just £20k - no terminal then of course, just a caravan. As I recall, one of the stipulations at the time was that it should be available for public use.

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Tolka » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:14 pm

BDoyle

It would be nice not to be put off by those statements. But there is an issue and its this - the insurance on my aircraft (and I suspect all aircraft policies) states that in order to be covered the flight must be legal. There was a reference to S.I. No. 355 of 2008 in the AIC when I was looking it up for information about Inis Mor airfield. When I checked the statutory instrument it says that an aircraft shall not take-off from or land at any place in the State unless it is either a licenced aerodrome or with prior permission from the owner/operator if its an unlicenced aerodrome. This is where the Aer Arann conditions become a problem. It looks like you need the PPR in order for the flight to be legal. Aer Arann have made it a condition of the PPR that radio contact is made. If you arrive overhead and no one at the airfield replies to you radio calls you have a problem.

What this all seems to mean is that the flight will not be legal if you land without getting the PPR. If the flight is not legal the insurance cover is invalidated. It is ridiculous that Aer Arann should restrict visiting aircraft like this. They can make life very difficult if they refuse permission for no good reason or if they fail to respond to your radio calls.

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by vanman » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:39 pm

Just a not for those of you unaware, Hayden Lawford is a former pilot for Aer Arann who has massive experience going back many years flying in and out of the islands and in and aroud Galway. So anything he says has to be taken seriously. He has published a fascinating book 'In Galway skies' which charts his career and the aviation history of Galway.

But one thing that stands out is a certain crankiness in Galway generally when it comes to aviation. There were problems with Oranmore, problems with Carnmore, then problems with Connemara and now all the islands.

It is very strange. Galway is a potential goldmine in aviation terms but there's always some problem or other. There seem to be a lot of airfields compared to other counties but there's always some issue to deal with.

Hayden Lawford
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Hayden Lawford » Thu May 17, 2012 10:48 pm

Came across this site
http://www.ronaldv.nl/abandoned/airfields/EI/west.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not 100% accurate, but a bit of nostalgia on Oranmore and Castlebar

vanman
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Re: Aran Islands

Post by vanman » Fri May 18, 2012 11:42 am

The former Oranmore site is easily accessible and seems to get a lot of use now for jogging and dog walking. They built up the site for a speculative pharma complex and it has a roadway, car parks, some ponds and a rather sad and faded looking display board suggesting the layout of a factory. There's also a hill you can climb and look down to see the potential for a decent sized airport. Not much left of the old RAF base or Oranmore airfield though.

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by piperman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:16 pm

I guess this thread has just about run its course, but having just got back to the UK after a great week's flying (despite the best efforts of the weather to spoil things) I felt I had to put in a word for Aer Arann. It is a pain having to put in for PPR, probably less so for me because we have to do it for most fields in the UK, but Aer Arann were sweet as pie with me...answered the phone quickly, gave PPR straight away and when I got clagged in at Connemara they couldn't have been more helpful, printing off weather (for the second time on the morning of day 2 without my even asking for it), phoning around to other fields and printing off the plates for Weston which I didn't have.
I nearly didn't contact them after reading some of these posts, but I'm really glad I made the effort.
As a Brit, I can't really comment on the use of taxpayer's money which has upset some, but having spent a good part of a day at Connemara airfield and seen the amount of activity going on there outside the 12-2pm window that they want you to use for arrival and dept, I can certainly understand why they make that stipulation. (Incidentally, they didn't hold me to that either). It's a pain, but I personally think it's an acceptable safety feature during ops hours. Out of ops hours, you could make a case for operating at the pilot's own risk, but I'm not going to get into that one!
As regards getting a response from the ground before landing, I didn't get any and just made blind calls to Inishmore radio. Aer Aran aircraft in the air answered to give position reports, but nothing from the ground on the islands, and this seemed to be the norm. Got a reply from Connemara radio 'ops' on the way in though.
So if anyone feels abit depressed about getting to the islands, don't be. Forget the politics and give Aer Arann a call. When you get the recorded message, just press 1 and you're through to a real, and reasonable human being. Then enjoy the fantastic flying!( but don't forget to raid the piggy bank...10 euros per strip adds up) :D

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by decospiper » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:26 pm

Well said,Sir!

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Fitzmike » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:00 pm

Just wanted to share my experience of flying out to Inisheer EIIR today. Followed the SOPs as stipulated by Aer Arann. PPR was sought by email and approval granted in a matter of hours. All very friendly, Aer Arann stated that the PPR was necessary to allow time to organise staff presence at the airfield. Checked in on frequency and was greeted by two airborne Islanders, again all very friendly and helpful. Aer Arann do not allow landings if there is an Islander present at the airfield and you must wait till they depart before making an approach. Your €10 covers the landing fee and parking of any duration. Interestingly the ground staff stated that there were 4 parties bidding for the tender. Anyway to summarise, all very easy and friendly. I would highly recommend continued use of the Aran airfields.

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by RV BLUE » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:12 pm

Fitzmike wrote: Aer Arann do not allow landings if there is an Islander present at the airfield and you must wait till they depart before making an approach. very easy and friendly.
I would love to hear the reason one cant land while islander is on the ground.....?? :roll:

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by Fitzmike » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:48 pm

The ground staff stated this was because a second aircraft would infringe on the "apron" whist the Islander was being boarded/deplaned. Health and safety. In fairness it is quite tight with two aircraft on the ground. Whether this is their own rule or a condition of their insurance policy I don't know. Not a big deal really as the Islander only spends 5 or 10 minutes on the ground at a time.

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Re: Aran Islands

Post by NAG » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:03 am

When I flew to Inishmore, I parked on the grass. Hardly an excuse.

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