Greetings to all our neighbours!
Over the past 40 years, air traffic in Waterford Airport has ebbed and flowed according to recessions, recoveries and booms. We want to assure everyone in the locality that Waterford Aero Club constantly do our bit to avoid noise nuisance.With at least three major aircraft operators based at Waterford Airport, this page aims to explain how we try to minimise noise and activity on a daily basis and what you can do if you wish to make a complaint.
Surrounding Waterford Airport, there is a 10 nautical-mile-wide circular zone of airspace, within which we continuously talk to Air Traffic Control (ATC). ATC advises each pilot where other items of traffic may be at any time within the zone.
In the early 1980’s, our Club was founded to bring pilots and enthusiasts together to encourage the interest in hobby aviation. Our primary purpose as a Club is to provide our members with modern reliable aircraft in which they can enjoy the beautiful countryside and hone flying skills. As an Approved Training Organisation, our speciality is training. We train student pilots so that they can obtain a Pilot Licence. We also train existing pilots to become Flight Instructors. Waterford Aero Club operates three Cessna 172 aircraft. Our three aircraft may all be flying at the same time and so, we spread ourselves out as much as possible within this airspace zone.
During our training flights, we typically have to teach a student basic maneuvers such as climbing, descending and turning. This may mean that the engine power of the aircraft must be adjusted. Often, these changes in engine noise sound dramatic from the ground! It is completely routine and you may equate it to changing gear or accelerating and decelerating on a road in your car.
Often, with the other operators (see below) airborne at the same time as us, we opt to leave the control zone and perform our training flights in areas which are not occupied by other pilots. This may mean that our aircraft may be flying overhead Wexford, Kilkenny, Cork and further afield depending on air traffic.
We never fly below 500ft.
This is an Air Law which we never break as it endangers safety. Sometimes it is challenging to judge an aircraft’s height by simply looking up from the ground. Additionally, checking the aircraft height on an app such as FlightRadar will typically be erroneous as it won’t account for the environmental conditions such as air temperature and air pressure. These factors are always taken into account by our pilots when in the air.
If you feel that an aircraft has flown in breach of the Minimum Height rule, we urge you to report it via the official channel!
Without submitting the information correctly, we will not be able to follow up on the report or do any fact-finding. Aviation is an extremely safety-conscious pursuit so we want to gather information of this nature to improve safety.
Other operators at Waterford Airport
The Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue bases a Sikorsky S-92 rescue helicopter in a purpose built hangar at the airport flying regular training missions and vital rescue missions. Rescue cover is provided for the main ferry routes into Rosslare and for the fishing grounds off the South and East coasts. Cover is also provided to the large volume of commercial traffic transiting off the south coast. It is regarded as an essential service by local fishermen working out of Dunmore East and by all sea and air users passing through, including leisure boat-users. CHC, the Coast Guard’s operating company, now service their aircraft in Waterford and also use it as a training facility.
Atlantic Flight Training Academy base half of their aircraft fleet in Waterford with their main base at Cork Airport. The Academy have a large number of Cessna 172 aircraft and Diamond DA42 Twin Star twin-engined aircraft.
You may often see Adventure001 Experiences Ireland operating their helicopters tours in and out of the airport.