The largest airport in the Republic of Ireland
. It opened for commercial service in 1940
, taking over from Casement Aerodrome
, and is now managed by the country's airport lord, Aer Rianta
. It is located north of the city, at the end of the M1 motorway
, adjacent to the suburb of Swords
Dublin Airport is etched into modern Irish culture in a peculiar way. For the first two decades after it opened, it was Ireland's window on the world. Children would go there on their Holy Communion day just to see the aeroplanes and get a Coca-Cola from a vending machine. Of course, Ireland has changed a lot since then, but the airport really hasn't.
I visited this airport several times between 1988 and 1996, along with my father, who worked in maintenance for Aer Lingus back in the seventies. Every time we went back, he would invariably bitch and moan about how Dublin Airport has the exact same terminal now as it did thirty years ago, when it was handling about one-tenth the passenger load it faces now. Indeed, even though the airport's terminal has been expanded several times, most recently with the addition of Concourse C, the ticketing area is miniscule, hopelessly inadequate for the demands of an advanced capitalist society.
Until recently, transatlantic flights were legally required to stop at Shannon Airport outside Limerick before continuing on to Dublin, mostly because if the legal stipulations weren't there, nobody would bother to fly to Shannon and the airport would become a little smeghole in the wall, much like Cork Airport. This restriction was lifted in 1993, and now airlines can fly directly from America to Dublin.
DUB's largest tenants are Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Other notable carriers there include bmi british midland, British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Air Canada.
The easiest way to get to and from Dublin Airport (if you aren't driving) is to take one of the Airlink coaches provided by Dublin Bus. They run between the airport, Heuston Station, and the Busaras, and from there you can connect to just about any point in the country. Cab fare to the city can cost anywhere from 15 to 20 euros depending on how bad traffic is.