1961: Cork Airport is Opened to Operations

October 16, 1961

Cork Airport was officially opened in the Republic of Ireland. Located in the southwestern part of the country, this airport is four miles (6.5 kilometers) south of the city of Cork. Plans for an airport in the area had been under serious discussion as far back as 1928. The actual construction of Cork Airport, however, did not begin until 1959.

There was a total of six flights in and out of Cork Airport on the day of its public debut. The first of these flights was an Aer Lingus Vickers Viscount airliner that flew in from Dublin. Those on board this flight included Seán Lemass, Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister and head of government); his wife Kathleen; Cork native Jack Lynch, minister for industry and commerce (and a future Taoiseach); Robert Briscoe, lord mayor of Dublin; and senior officials of Aer Lingus. After landing at Cork Airport, they were formally welcomed by Anthony Barry, lord mayor of Cork; and Vincent Fanning, the new airport’s manager.

During its first year of operation, Cork Airport served 10,172 passengers altogether. The facility now handles about 2.5 million passengers annually, making it second only to Dublin Airport as the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland. For the entire island (both the republic and the United Kingdom’s constituent country of Northern Ireland), Cork Airport ranks as the fourth busiest airport after Dublin Airport, Belfast International Airport, and George Best Belfast City Airport.

For more information on the history of Cork Airport, please check out https://www.corkairport.com/about-us/history.

Additional information on the airport’s 1961 opening is available at https://www.fachtnaroe.net/subjects/webauthoring5/websites2002/it.kathyf/past.html

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