A Glimpse of the Daily Operations at Foynes Airport (Shannon Airport)
Here’s a representative look at the day-to-day operations of Foynes Airport, or Shannon Airport as it was known at the time, during the flying boat era of 1939 to 1945. We selected the first three weeks of September 1943, during a peak summer period, and set out an extract from the Harbour Register.
As can be seen, there was at least one movement every day, and many aircraft spent one and sometimes two nights anchored at Foynes. The operation of the shuttle can be seen, with Sunderland G-AGHW arriving on Sunday, 5 September with passengers from Pan Am’s Boeing 314 NC18611, and returning to Poole with passengers arriving off the Clipper.
The level of use is also apparent, with BOAC’s Boeing 314 G-AGCB arriving from Lisbon the next day and continuing on to Poole, only to arrive back at Foynes the same day on a shuttle flight.
The Short S.26 G-AFCI was engaged on shuttle flights to and from Poole throughout the period. Monday, 6 September, was the busiest day, with no fewer than six arrivals and three departures.
The time taken by the West African services is evident from the transits of Sunderland G-AGHV. It Arrived in Foynes from Poole on 1 September, continuing on to Lisbon the following day, and then on down to Lagos and back, only arriving at Foynes two weeks later, inbound from Lisbon on 14 September and continuing on that day back to Poole.