Close to 10,000 people turned out at Ireland West Airport Knock on Saturday 23rd July not to fly anywhere or greet anyone arriving. They simply came to take part in the largest ever family fun day organised by the airport. Not since the official opening of the airport back in 1986 have such crowds assembled at Ireland West Airport Knock.
The ‘Celebration Day’ was organised to celebrate the airports 25th anniversary and to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Monsignor Horan
“This is all about turning a transport facility into a fun place to be for the day” says airport Managing Director Joe Gilmore. “Children and adults alike are fascinated by transport and travel so we decided to showcase the workings of the airport and families responded in their thousands'.
The event which was staged on the passenger and aircraft apron at the airport was a huge success and among the many attractions were an aerobatic display by Eddie Goggins, Eddie is an advanced Aerobatics competitor and has held the Irish National Aerobatics Champion title five times and has also won numerous regional competitions in the UK and held the title of British Intermediate National Champion in the past. Crowds were on the edge of their seats as he somersaulted his aircraft over the legendary airport.
James Bond enthusiasts recognised the replica of his famous “Little Nellie” the 1942 Gyrocopter used in the 1967 movie “You Only Live Twice” with its proud owner Pat Joyce on hand to tell the story. Closer to home people had the rare chance to see a replica of the ‘The Iolar’, the deHavilland Dragon DH-84 a replica of the one used for the first ever Aer Lingus flight on 27th May 1936. Modern day law and order was on display too with the Garda Support Unit’s Cessna 172 fixed wing aircraft.
Hundreds of children climbed onto huge airport fire engines capable of delivering 5000 litres of water/foam per minute in the event of an aircraft emergency whilst there was bouncy castles, slides face painting and much more to keep the kids entertained.
Chief Fire & Security Officer at Ireland West Airport Knock Pearse Concannon said “People normally see the serious side of the airport as they go through our rigorous security and safety checks on their way abroad. This is a chance for families under no pressure to go anywhere to get a behind the scenes look at what makes the airport work.”
Airport MD Joe Gilmore continued “an airport like Ireland West Knock is many things: a security service, a fire and rescue service, aviation centre, shopping facility, a licensed bar and café. Add some bouncing castles, face painting puppet shows, music and entertainment and you get an airport themed fun park for the day. What better way to mark the 100th birthday of the man with a twinkle for fun in his eye Monsignor Horan and to mark 25 years of Ireland West Airport Knock. Id like to thank all those who participated and attended on the day and to all the staff at the airport for their contribution to what was a most memorable evening'.
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