Shannon International Airport
Shannon Airport is the most westerly airport in Europe, it is located on the Shannon Estuary and is approximately 15 miles from Ennis and Limerick City. However, it is its place in aviation history that really makes the airport stand out.
As aviation began to take off across the world, the area of Rineanna in County Clare was identified as a site for an airport and four runways were marked out. In 1936, Colonel Charles E. Lindbergh, an agent of the US airline Pan Am, flew over the area and stayed in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis and the Dunraven Arms in Adare, County Limerick. A celebrity of the time, his arrival to the area led to many whisperings of what it could mean.
The outbreak of World War II slowed the development of the airport but flights did take place in conjunction with the flying boats of Foynes, County Limerick. The number of commercial flights into Shannon grew rapidly from the late 1940s, both from European destinations and trans-Atlantic journeys.
In 1951, the first Airport Duty Free Shop was opened and so Shannon International Airport became the world's first duty free airport. In conjunction with the growth of the airport, came the growth of the Shannon Free Zone and industrial estate. Shannon is also the reputed home of the irsih Coffee, created when chef Joe Sheridan presented the drink to the tired cre of a trans-atlantic flight in 1942.
The following years saw numerous improvements to the airport's facilities - including a new terminal and extensions to the runways. Today, passengers can fly to and from a range of destinations from the airport - including to Irish, UK, European and American destinations. Shopping facilities include 'The Loop', a shop and collect service for those travelling within the EU. Passengers flying to the US can avail of US Customs pre-clearance facilities at the airport - the first location in the world outside of the US to offer such a service.
There is both short- and long-term parking facilities on offer, including facilities with drivers with disabilities or reduced mobility. Passengers can access the airport by car, bus or taxi. A number of car rental operators are on-site at the airport for passengers wishing to rent a vehicle for their stay.