DamnBusted wrote:FFS. Drive to Galway or Dublin. After some savage X Country driving this week the new N6 or whatever it is from Athlone across is excellent.
For the 4 people who live in Laois and Offally, use the N7.
Well one of those so called four people you talk about has the top job in the country.
I look at this from the point of view of population and tourism as they represent two major areas to measure potential (the third would be business travelers which I recognise is a significant percentage of customers using regional airports).
Roughly broken down using CSO 2006 and figures from failte ireland you get the following:
Leinster (1 International and 1 regional) Pop: 2.1 million
Tourists(2007): 2.2 million (Dublin, East Leinster and Midlands)
Ulster (1 regional) Pop: 0.25 million
Tourists(2007): 0.2 million (North-west)
Munster (2 Internationals and 1 regional) Pop: 1.1 million
Tourists(2007): 1.8 million (South-east, southwest and shannon)
Connaught (3 regionals) Pop: 0.46 million
Tourists(2007): 0.46 million
Looking at these figures I think another regional airport in Leinster is worth discussing at least. I can believe the argument that other regional airports are under pressure to remain viable but a regional airport in the midlands would have greater proximity to Dublin than the rest and could attract people wishing to travel to the UK for example. It has some potential to act as a second airport to Dublin with the new road network. I think regionals for short haul flights have some attraction in that you get processed quicker, parking is cheaper, they serve the local community and in this case could serve Dublin too.
It only takes two things to fly:--- airspeed and money.