The History of Shannon Airport

The duty free was just one of many firsts for the famous Shannon Airport

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In the late 1930’s, transatlantic flights used a flying boat terminal at Foynes on the south side of the Shannon Estuary. By 1945, Ireland’s first transatlantic airport was established in Shannon to meet the demands of developing aircraft technology with a permanent runway and airport.

Events Timeline

1945: The first transatlantic proving flight, a Pan Am DC-4, landed at Shannon from New York City, and the first scheduled commercial flight, an American Overseas Airlines DC-4, passed through the airport.

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1947: Shannon Airport became the world’s first duty-free airport.

1960’s: Many international carriers used Shannon and it became known as the gateway between Europe and the Americas – few aircraft could make the journey without refuelling here.

1986: A United States border preclearance facility was opened here, eliminating the need to go through immigration on arrival in the United States making it the primary airport for visitors from the US.

2008: It was announced that customs and agriculture inspections would be added.

2010: Shannon Airport became the first airport outside the US to offer US Customs and Border Protection to private aircraft, yet another world’s first.