NEW FIGURES compiled by the Irish Aviation Authority show that traffic at Ireland’s three main airports declined in the first quarter of 2012 when compared with 2011.
The number of flights taking off or landing at Dublin, Shannon or Cork fell by 3.8 per cent in January, February and March when compared with the first three months of last year.
Figures for March specifically showed that traffic at the three main airports was down by a total of 4.1 per cent.
Dublin saw an average of 392 commercial movements a day, down by 3.6 per cent on March 2011, while Cork saw traffic down by 8 per cent to 50 flights, and Shannon saw 44 flights a day, down by 3.9 per cent.
The IAA’s analysis also said the overall number of flights travelling through Irish airspace in March 2012 (including flights which did not take off or land in an Irish airport) was down by 1.2 per cent based on the same month of last year, and 1.8 per cent when the whole quarter was considered.
March 2012 saw an average of 1,331 flights pass through Irish airspace each day, with March 30 seeing the highest individual traffic with 1,550 flights.
“This reduction is largely attributable to the continued downturn in international arrivals and departures at the three State airports,” the IAA said.
The stats also showed that only 33 commercial flights were delayed in the first quarter, with every single one of those flights delayed specifically as a result of weather conditions.
“The IAA proactively manages air traffic flows to ensure that delays are kept to a minimum and is traditionally one of the best performers in Europe in this respect,” the authority said.
The number of transatlantic flights served by the IAA’s North Atlantic Communications Centre was up by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter.