Saturday 16 December 2017

From cheap booze to Yeltsin's snooze: an airport history

1945 - The Clare airport opens with flights from American Overseas Airlines, Trans World Airways and Pan American Airways (Pan AM).

1947 - The world's first duty-free shop opens -- a small kiosk operated by Kitty Downes.

1958 - Shannon Industrial Free Zone is established.

1959 - Long-range North Atlantic jet aircraft such as the Boeing 720, Boeing 707 and the DC8 begins operating at Shannon.

1961 - A new runway was commissioned with a length of 10,000 feet (just over 3,000 metres).

1964 - Employment in the industrial area exceeds that of the airport.

1969 - The Irish Airport Authority, Aer Rianta, assumes control of Shannon Airport as an agent for the Minister for Transport.

The first Boeing 747 lands at Shannon.

1971 - A new terminal to cope with increased passenger numbers opens.

1979 - Pope John Paul II departs from Shannon following historic visit.

1980 - Aeroflot, the USSR airline, established a Russian fuel base at Shannon.

1988 - Aer Rianta International -- one of the world's most successful travel retail companies -- founded in Shannon.

1994 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin sleeps through a stopover while Taoiseach Albert Reynolds waits on the tarmac.

2001 - US military troops on route to Afghanistan and Iraq start using the airport.

2007 - Passenger numbers increase to 3.6 million.

2009 - Shannon becomes the first airport outside of America to get US customs and border pre-clearance.

2011 - Passenger numbers decrease to 1.6 million.

Irish Independent

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