Support Our Legal Battle
Against Kilkenny County Council
We have raised over €2,000,000 EUR for Irish Charities.
Now we need your support!!
In early 2014, Skydive Ireland Ltd. purchased Kilkenny Airport having received express assurances from Kilkenny County Council that Kilkenny Airport is compliant under planning law. After we purchased the Airport, the Planning Department issue planning enforcement, contrary to the assurances it gave to us.
Effectively the Local Planners are saying that aircraft flights for skydiving, which raises money for charity, are unauthorised under planning law. We absolutely refute the Planners allegations and we have taken High Court action. The High Court has issued block on the Councils enforcement allowing for the lawful continuation of charity skydiving in the interim.
Skydiving for charity raises thousands of Euro for Irish Charities each year.
Airport Planning & Use History
We are one of Ireland's longest operating Airports. Kilkenny Airport was established as a small, local airport in 1963 and was first licensed by the Department of Transport in 1965. The Airport it pre-exists the well-known Regional Airports of Waterford, Sligo, Donegal and Kerry.
The Airport not only pre-dates planning law but it also benefits expressly from several planning permissions and exemptions under planning law. The Airport's continued development has been expressly supported in the Kilkenny County Development Plan from 1994 up to 2020.
From mid 1970 up to 2007, public records also reveal that the Local Council continuously financed the Airport's development and operating costs, using tens of thousands of Euro of tax-payer funds.
For decades, the Council and the South-East Tourism Board promoted the Airport using tax-payer money, as a local and tourist attraction. From 1980 up to 2007, Local County Councillors held positions as company directors of Kilkenny Airport Limited.
It was a long term objective of the Council to establish it as the South-East Regional Airport - which never materialised and it was awarded to Waterford Airport instead.
Despite all of this, in December 2011, the Planning Department wrongly determined that the Airport has no planning permission whatsoever and it issued planning enforcement
See Kilkenny People article 22 January 2012 - Click Link
Our Purchase of the Airport in 2014
In 2014, prior to purchasing Kilkenny Airport, we engaged extensively with the Council to clarify the planning status of the Airport.
The then County Manager, Mr. Joe Crockett, fully accepted that errors had previously been made by the Planning Department. He expressly confirmed that the Airport is compliant with planning law and that no further planning enforcement will issue.
We purchased the Airport in full reliance on this executive assurance. However, within a short time of our taking ownership of the Airport, the Planning Office vehemently opposed the Airport, in stark and complete contrast, defiance and contradiction to the assurances we had relied upon when buying the Airport and in May 2017, the Planners issued planning enforcement - forcing us to take High Court action.
In fairness to Mr Crockett, he had retired by this stage. The current County Manager (CEO), Ms Collette Byrne has refused our request to meet and discuss this matter prior to us taking legal action.
It remains to be explained by the Council, why its planning officials have made so many planning errors for Kilkenny Airport and why it is acting contrary to the express promises made to us.
Local Community Benefits
For over 52 years, the Airport has served al lforms of general aviation, principally intensive sports aviation, in full compliance with planning laws.
The Local Community continues to benefit from the local Air-Services we provide to the Garda Helicopter Air Support Unit for local crime prevention, the Coast Guard Air Rescue Helicopter for medivac and training exercises and to the Military Air Corp Unit. Hundreds of Kilkenny people have taken flying lessons and earned their pilots licence and some now fly for large airlines.
The local economy benefits from domestic and international business and tourism. Business people fly here for the horse sales and other business in the area. Flying clubs all over Ireland and Europe fly here to visit Kilkenny and people from all over the country come here to skydive.
Local farmers get 45 acres for silage each year. We accommodate family days and picnics and all are welcome - generations have been coming here for decades.
Support Kilkenny Airport
Kilkenny Airport is a natural part of Kilkenny's heritage and it enjoys tremendous support from the local people and from further afield. The Airport has always brought domestic and international tourism to Kilkenny City which supports local business and employment.
People from all walks of life come to Kilkenny Airport to learn to fly, to skydive or just to have a family picnic and enjoy the flying activities. On a fine weather day, it is an ideal family day out and everyone is welcome.
In August 2015, the Airport celebrated its 50th Anniversary of being licensed, with thousands of local families enjoying Kilkenny's largest ever Air-Display, with world class aerobatics, model jets, and skydiving - FREE of Charge.
We do not receive a single Euro from tax-payer money - we are a wholly self-financed airport. Our Airport Development Funds are being swallowed up by the High Court action we were forced to take against the Council.
We hope to be able to organise a Family Fun Day & Air Display in 2018.