Operations to Shannon, Ireland – Airport Operations & Security

> | July 25, 2013 | 2 Comments
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Operations to Shannon, Ireland – Airport Operations & Security

This is a post by author Derek Collins. Derek is general manager for Universal Aviation Ireland – Shannon, which has an aircraft ground handling facility in Shannon, Ireland. Derek is an expert on business aircraft operations in Ireland and can be contacted at derekcollins@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Ireland and continues from our last article: "Operations to Shannon, Ireland – CIQ."

Airport operations are particularly user-friendly and trouble-free in Ireland – particularly at Shannon (EINN), where scheduled commercial traffic is not much of a factor. You can park aircraft as long as you like and power in and out of parking stands and you’ll seldom face a requirement to relocate your aircraft on the field. Here’s an overview of what you should know:

1. Airport operating restrictions are minimal

Popular destinations for business aviation operators to Ireland include EINN, Dublin (EIDW) and Cork (EICK). While fog can on rare occasions be an issue, climate and weather are generally mild in Ireland. Snow accumulation and ice on airport surfaces are seldom. Operators do not often report issues when operating to Ireland. EINN has no restrictions on Stage 2 aircraft, and that is something quite uncommon for Europe.

2. EINN is well-geared to General Aviation (GA) operations

EINN is open 24/7 with 24/7 Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ). There are currently no Stage 2 noise restrictions, no airport slots are required, and the runway is the second longest in Europe. EINN is located 14 miles from the nearest major town, Limerick. The present condition of the tarmac, taxiways and runways is good, and there’s no airport construction currently underway. While hangars are available for transient business aircraft, space is limited, with availability on a first-come basis. Scheduled commercial operations are minimal at EINN and generally don’t impact GA. Peak hours of scheduled airline activity are usually 0630-1000 local. There are no restrictions on length of stay at many airports in Ireland, but separate aircraft parking areas are assigned based on weight of aircraft. It’s rare that aircraft will need to be relocated on the field, but crew members will always be notified prior to an aircraft being moved.

3. Know day-of-operation considerations

On day of operation, the ground handler will need your full schedule, tail number, aircraft type, type of flight, and – for overnight stops – the crew/passenger information in order to advise the airport authority. The Irish Aviation Authority may ramp-check an aircraft at any time, but that generally requires only a few minutes and does not impact passengers.

4. Airport security is good at major airports in Shannon

EINN has a two-meter-high perimeter fence, surveillance cameras, perimeter patrols every 60 minutes and airport police on patrol 24/7. Private security is permitted on the ramp, so long as the provider is pre-approved and unarmed. There’s a private security company available to guard aircraft at the client’s request, and they carry appropriate identification. Protection of government aircraft can be arranged with the local police or the Irish army. Personal security – either on- or off-airport – is not recommended for crew members or passengers, as there aren’t any security concerns.

5. Be aware of screening procedures

There’s no security screening on arrival in Ireland, and there’s no departure screening of crew/passengers and luggage unless aircraft Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) is over 45.5 tons.

6. Ramp access is restricted

Crew with crew IDs may access the ramp with a ground handler escort. Anyone else entering the ramp needs either a color-coded airport ID (not all airport IDs in Ireland allow airside access) or a temporary airport ID to enter under escort. For example, a temporary ID may be obtained for an aviation maintenance technician or pre-paid transport with driver. This takes about 24 hours to set up and requires presentation of passport or driver’s license to airport authorities, along with a letter from the ground handler stating the reason for ramp access.

7. Security screening may be necessary during tech stops

While there are no CIQ requirements for crew members or passengers during tech stops in Ireland, security screening will be required if crew members or passengers choose to enter the terminal during a tech stop.

Conclusion

Shannon is a secure environment – both on- and off-airport – and one that is GA-friendly. Authorized private vehicles can enter the ramp to drop off passengers planeside, and there’s no security screening requirement on departure for aircraft less than 45.5 tons MTOW. Your ground handler will coordinate flight crew ramp access and arrange temporary authorizations for suppliers and 4th-party vendors needing airside access.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or about operating into Ireland, contact me at derekcollins@universalaviation.aero.

Later we’ll discuss flight planning, weather and NOTAMs for Ireland and their impact on your trip.

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About

Derek Collins has more than a decade’s experience working in ground support in Ireland. He is an expert at providing ground handling services to business aircraft throughout Ireland. Based in Shannon, Ireland, Derek has unique expertise in the United States Customs and Border Protection’s pre-clearance facility at Shannon, which allows operators to pre-clear all U.S. Customs and proceed directly to a number of destinations within the U.S. A member of the Shannon Airport Operations Committee, Derek works closely with airport authorities and CBP as an advocate on behalf of business aviation operators traveling to Shannon or using Shannon as a tech stop.

Derek, who has a degree from the University of Limerick, can be reached at derekcollins@universalaviation.aero.

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