Ireland's Airports: A Complete List for the Traveler

Dublin Airport

Bernd Biege

Airports in Ireland to fly into are mainly Dublin and Belfast International, though Shannon still holds its own for transatlantic flights. Yet that is not the whole Irish aviation scene. Ireland has several airports that might be of interest to the tourist. However, many of these are only served by short-haul flights, most of them to the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Here you’ll find a list of the Irish airports to and from which regularly scheduled flights are operated (or, in some cases, had been – these airports still seem to appear as valid in several publications and on maps), in strictly alphabetical order:

Aran Islands Airports

There are airports on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inis Óirr, think small airfield at the back of beyond and you've got the picture. The airports provide nothing more than basic facilities for commuter and pleasure flights, you will not want to spend too much time here. Transport facilities on the Aran Islands are severely limited, so you will more than likely have to walk, cycle or use a horse cart to get to and from the airports. If you are planning to stay on the Aran Islands, ask about transport when booking your accommodation. The only destinations served from the Aran Islands airports is Connemara Regional Airport.

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is located in Aldergrove, near Nutts Corner. Not quite near Belfast at all but on the eastern shore of Lough Neagh. The driving distance to Belfast is between 30 and 60 minutes. Apart from this slight snag, Belfast will satisfy most travelers' needs, being a fairly modern, spacious, and generally well laid-out airport.

Passenger facilities include restaurants and shopping. Belfast International Airport is located centrally within Northern Ireland and well signposted from Belfast and the major roads - take M2 and A57 or (if coming from the west or south) M1 and A26. Several bus services to the airport are in operation, the nearest rail station is Antrim, six miles from the airport.

Destinations served from Belfast International Airport are the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Iceland, the Canary Islands, as well as North and Central America.

City of Derry Airport

The City of Derry Airport is located in Eglinton, County Derry, and a small airport with basic facilities - more a transit area than a place to spend time voluntarily. The airport is located seven miles north-east of Derry on the A2 (direction Coleraine). Ulsterbus operates various services between the airport and the main Foyle Street bus depot in Derry, services also operate to and from Limavady. By train, Derry Duke Street would be the easiest connection. Destinations served from the City of Derry Airport are Glasgow, Liverpool, London, and Faro (Portugal).

Connemara Regional Airport

Connemara Regional Airport can be found near the town of Inverin, about 17 miles west of Galway City. This is a small airfield with very basic passenger facilities. You can get to Connemara Regional Airport by road via the R336, there also is a shuttle bus from the Kinlay House Hotel in Galway City. The only destinations served from Connemara Regional Airport are the islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inis Óirr. There really is only one reason to fly from here - to visit the Aran Islands.

Cork Airport

Cork Airport is located on the Kinsale Road and has been extensively upgraded with a state-of-the-art terminal building and a vastly improved infrastructure. This equals good passenger facilities, space and reasonable comforts in the shopping and dining/snacking areas. The airport is located five miles outside Cork City and well signposted locally, Air Coach services run by Bus Eireann connect Cork Airport and Cork’s Parnell Place Bus Station. The nearest rail station is in Cork City - not within reasonable walking distance. Destinations served from Cork Airport are the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and the Canary Islands.

Donegal Airport

Donegal Airport is located at Kincasslagh and boasts a small, modern terminal building in the middle of nowhere - enough for a number of passengers going through who are not expecting too many comforts and facilities anyway.

From Letterkenny take the N56 heading in the direction of Dunfanaghy/Dungloe and follow signposts for Gweedore, the airport is signposted locally. Destinations served from Donegal Airport are Dublin and Glasgow.

Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is located in North County Dublin, near the suburb of Swords. Crowded at the best of times, it can be positively claustrophobic during peak travel hours, with delays, especially at the security check. Dublin Airport now has two modernized terminal buildings with good passenger facilities, from restaurants to shopping. Dublin Airport is located near the interchange between the M50 and the M1, signposted from Dublin City and locally. Several bus services both locally and nationally connect to Dublin Airport. Destinations served from Dublin Airport include the Irish airports, the United Kingdom, Continental Europa, the Americas, North Africa, and the Canary Islands, as well as the Middle East.

Galway Airport

After a spectacular commercial crash-landing, so to say, Galway Airport has had to suspend all commercial traffic. “until further notice”, as the website says for quite a while now.

George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport is located in East Belfast, near the Titanic Quarter, and a modern, smallish, in places utilitarian transit facility, not really a tourist destination. Reached via the A2, Sydenham By-Pass road between Belfast and Holywood, with Translink operating an Airlink from the Airport terminal to Belfast Europa Bus Centre. Shuttle bus services also operate between the airport and the adjacent rail halt at Sydenham with connections to Belfast’s Central and Victoria Street Stations. Destinations served from George Best Belfast City Airport are the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.

Ireland West Airport Knock

Ireland West Airport is located near Charlestown, in the vicinity of Knock. Basically one of Ireland's largest airports, and built in the middle of nowhere, this was Monsignor Horan's dream. The clergyman initiated the project to serve the pilgrims heading for the Marian Shrine at Knock. Facilities and infrastructure are basic and geared towards pilgrim groups rather than conventional tourists. Knock Airport is signposted locally, some buses serve the airport. Destinations served from Ireland West Airport Knock include the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, the Canary Islands, as well as the Marian shrines at Fatima, Lourdes, and Medjugorje.

Kerry Airport

Kerry Airport is located near Farranfore in County Kerry and was basically made known outside Ireland by Ryanair. It is a utilitarian airport benefiting from cheap flights and location, a transit facility. Most passengers will not want to spend too much time here. The airport is signposted locally and from Killarney, easily accessible via the N23. Bus Eireann provides services directly from the airport or via Farranfore, the nearest rail station is in Farranfore - not within easy walking distance and with a limited service. Destinations served from Kerry Airport are Dublin, London (Luton and Stanstead) and Hahn (Germany).

Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport is located on the Shannon Estuary in County Clare and was originally built to replace the Foynes seaplane base, and to facilitate transatlantic travel with limited fuel supplies. It still appears quite utilitarian in places. Passenger facilities are virtually exhausted by the bar-cum-restaurant area and the duty-free shop (duty-free shopping was actually invented in Shannon). Shannon Airport is located approximately 15 miles from both Limerick and Ennis, approach via the N18. Bus Eireann provides connections to and from all of Ireland's major cities, Citylink provides a convenient service between Shannon Airport and Galway City. Destinations served from Shannon Airport include the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, the Canary Islands, and North America.

Sligo Airport

The heavily subsidized Sligo Airport in Strandhill was another victim of the economic downturn, these days it just serves as an airfield for pleasure flights, and as a SAR base for the Irish Coast Guard.

Waterford Airport

Waterford Airport is located in Killowen, County Waterford, and has only fairly recently been re-discovered for tourism use, with basic but sufficient facilities. The airport is signposted locally and from Waterford City (about five miles away). Destinations served from Waterford Airport are Birmingham and London (Luton).