Dublin Airport

A brief history...

The airport opened for business on Friday, January 19, 1940 with a single flight to Liverpool’s Speke Airport. Shortly after 9am, an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft took off from the grass runway close to the original passenger terminal, which was still being built at that time.
With war raging throughout Europe, the airport was effectively mothballed for the next five years. Dublin Airport’s only service was to Liverpool or occasionally to Manchester’s Barton Aerodrome.

Aer Lingus had been operating from Baldonnel from 1936 and had moved its operations to the new Dublin Airport in January 1940. Dublin Airport’s first scheduled service to London commenced in November 1945, with a two and a half hour direct flight to Croydon Airport and air mail services to Britain were added in 1946. Connections to other British cities and continental European destinations were added and in April 1958, Dublin Airport got its first scheduled transatlantic service to New York.

Since its inaugural flight, Dublin Airport has welcomed 460 million passengers, boosting Irish trade, tourism and investment and bringing together generations of families and friends.” Dublin Airport’s route network has grown substantially in recent years and now offers customers direct services to Britain, North America, Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The construction of Dublin Airport, which was originally known as Collinstown Airport, began in 1937 after the site was selected as the location for the capital’s new civilian airport. Collinstown had been a base for the British Royal Air Force before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, but the old military airfield had fallen into disrepair by the late 1930s.

The centrepiece of the new airport was its passenger terminal, which was designed by Desmond FitzGerald and a team of young architects. The original terminal, which was designed to cater for up to 100,000 passengers per year, won several architectural awards. Its tiered design, viewing decks and balconies are reminiscent of an ocean liner, which was a common design theme for airports of the 1930s.

FitzGerald’s terminal was the key passenger facility at Dublin Airport until the early 1970s and part of the original terminal is still use today as a boarding gate area.
Initially, air travel was the preserve of the wealthy. But with growing incomes and additional routes, passenger numbers increased and by 1963, Dublin Airport’s passenger numbers had exceeded one million in a single year for the first time.

In the 1950s and 1960s the airport was a destination in its own right, as people travelled out to Collinstown to see the planes and to dine in its restaurant, which was said to be one of the best in the country. Guided tours of the airport were popular and Dublin Airport featured regularly in postcards of the time.

"dublin airport, growing with the community"