THE amount of commercial movements at Shannon in September was dramatically higher than the equivalent figure in the same month last year.
Also, September was the second consecutive month that Shannon had more commercial movements than Cork.
In September Shannon had 2,257 commercial movements, up from 1,738 in September 2013.
Shannon had an average of 75 commercial daily movements, compared with 58 last year. Cork had a daily average of 59 movements during September.
Total flights in Irish airspace increased by 6.8% when compared with the same month last year. There was an average of 1,664 daily flights in September, with the busiest day being September 5, with 1,833 flights.
On a cumulative basis, commercial terminal traffic for the three State airports for period from January to September was up by 6.1% when compared to the same period in 2013.
Separately, the Clare branch of the Samaritans is set to share in a €26,000 donation from Shannon Airport, following a fundraising programme by airport staff, supported by Bank of Ireland.
The Samaritans is Shannon’s 2014 designated charity and is benefiting from three novel events organised over the last 12 months.
The main event was the runway run of July 4, when 1,000 runners took part in a floodlit 5km trek along Shannon’s runway, which raised over €17,000. The event was fully booked three days in advance.
Also as part of the fundraising campaign, Airport staff embarked on a huge endurance test in the worst of conditions imaginable for a day in May as they braved driving wind and rain to cycle 175km from King John’s Castle in Limerick to the Cliffs of Moher and back to Shannon Airport.
The first leg of the campaign was a musical celebration in December of last year when over 900 gathered in the main terminal building and gave generously at a rip-roaring free show by Sharon Shannon.
Shannon Airport operations manager, Niall Maloney, who spearheaded the fundraising programme, said airport staff not alone got to help raise funds for a deserving cause but had a lot of fun in the process.
“Staff really went to great personal lengths at a voluntary level to raise this money but had a lot of fun in doing so. We mightn’t have thought that way at times, certainly not with the wind and rain beating into our faces on the cycle. But when you get to hand over €26,000 to a charity like the Samaritans, there’s a great sense of reward.
“A great aspect about the fundraising programme, too, was that members of the public got a lot of enjoyment out of participating in and supporting the events also,” he added.
Rose Hally, Bank of Ireland senior business manager for Clare, said, “The Runway Run was such a novel event and there was an amazing atmosphere on the night. We were delighted to support it, not least with the funds going to such a worthy cause in the Samaritans but also because it was such an innovative event, in keeping with the great traditions at the airport.”