Friday 15 November 2019

From grass runways to 435 million passengers: Dublin Airport turns 75

The old Collinstown Terminal Building at Dublin Airport in 1940, the year it first opened.
The old Collinstown Terminal Building at Dublin Airport in 1940, the year it first opened.
Pictures of the old Collinstown Terminal Building - Dublin Airport in 1940s shortly after it opened.
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

The Irish Independent was less than enthused at the opening of Dublin Airport, 75 years ago today, giving the momentous occasion just a few lines on its inside pages.

'Outward air service' the headline read, as a brief story told how two Aer Lingus planes took off from Collinstown, bound for Liverpool.

Surprisingly, no politician was present. Instead, crews and passengers were seen off by a number of civil servants and members of the management team at Aer Lingus.

The airport opened for business on Friday, January 19, 1940, with an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft leaving the grass runway for Liverpool's Speke Airport.

With war raging throughout Europe, the airport was effectively mothballed for the next five years.

The airport's first scheduled service to London began in November 1945, a journey that took two-and-a-half hours - twice the time it takes today.

"In the 75 years since that inaugural flight, Dublin Airport has welcomed 435 million passengers, boosting Irish trade, tourism and investment," said airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

Read more:

Dublin Airport flying high after record year for transatlantic traffic

Irish Independent

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