100,000 people to attend ‘FlightFest’
Some 100,000 people are expected to line the quays of Dublin’s city centre to see some of the world’s most spectacular aircraft glide along the path of the River Liffey.
The once-in-a-lifetime FlightFest aircraft display takes place on the 15th of September.
The flypast displays will showcase airplanes from every decade since the 1930s which includes an impressive Vulcan B2 Strategic Bomber, the Flying Fortress from World War II and the largest aircraft in the world, the British Airways Airbus A380.
“They have been done in a couple of different places. It was done for the Queen’s Jubilee over Buckingham Palace and then every year there is a military fly past for the Bastille day but this is different because it goes on for so long,” said IAA spokesperson Donal Handley.
“It’s a sustained flypast, the guts of two and a half hours and every two or three minutes an aircraft will be going over the city centre,” he added.
Four large screens located on the quays will display the flights as they roar across the skies overhead.
The free event was planned by the Irish Aviation Authority and Dublin City Council as part of The Gathering 2013.
“It’s probably the biggest aviation event in Dublin’s history. We have over 20 different airline operators and coming up to 40 aircraft will be involved.
“When we say it’s a once in a lifetime, it really is, you don’t get aircraft flying over a European city centre. It’s an unusual thing to do but very unique,” he added.
The events will provide a carnival atmosphere with fun fairs and the roads lining the quays from the Custom House to the East link toll bridge will be pedestrianised.
The last time a similar event took place in Ireland was in 1936 in Phoenix Park.
“Rumour has it that they cut the grass and used a runway landing strip to land there and about 50,000 people turned up and they had to call in the army to disperse the crowd to keep them back from the aircraft,” he said.
The IAA said it is confident the weather will not cause any disruptions on the day.
The planes will take off from Dublin Airport and fly to a holding pattern over Howth and will begin their approach to the city centre once they have been given clearance.
Ireland’s aviation industry accounts for 20,000 jobs and €4.1 billion to the economy on an annual basis.
A third of all of the aircraft assets in the world are managed by Irish companies in Dublin and Shannon airports.
The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a year-long celebration of all things Irish and is being celebrated through innovative gatherings and Ireland’s major festivals.
The IAA has also partnered with Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and ORBIS, a charity working to eliminate preventable blindness, to collect money for the charities on the day.