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Cork Airport is the second-largest of the three principal international airports in the Republic of Ireland, after Dublin and ahead of Shannon. It is located 6.5 km south of Cork city in an area known as Farmers Cross. In 2017, Cork Airport handled over 2.3 million passengers, a 3% annual increase. Cork is the state's second-busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers, after Dublin, and fourth busiest on the island of Ireland, after Dublin, Belfast International and Belfast City.
In 1957 the Government of Ireland agreed in principle to the building of an airport for Cork. After considering many sites in the area, it was agreed that the airport should be built at Ballygarvan. Tenders were invited for the construction of the airport in 1959 at an estimated cost of £1 million. The airport was officially opened on 16 October 1961, following proving flights four days earlier by Aer Lingus and Cambrian Airways. Vincent Fanning was the first manager at the airport. In its first year the airport handled 10,172 passengers – close to the average number of passengers handled each day at the airport in 2007. Throughout the 1960s the airport expanded with the arrival of more advanced aircraft and more destinations. The first jet, a British Overseas Airways Corporation Comet, landed at Cork Airport on 29 March 1964. By 1969 Aer Lingus was operating to London Heathrow, Manchester and Bristol.
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