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Wesport & the Invisible Airport

By Patrick
2012-08-08 22:50:02

I live in the UK and my wife and I are just back from a four-day visit to Westport, Co. Mayo. 
We thought a few comments might be in order, particularly regarding the airport which delivers visitors to Westport and environs.  
Firstly, during ours stay we could not help but notice the absence of global branded companies - such McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Express, Domino's Pizzas, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Marks & Spencer, Boots etc. These same brands have destroyed high streets in towns and cities throughout the UK, turning them into soul-less and charmless replicas of each other. Keep the faith with the local shops and businesses; they are what makes Westport the gem it is today. 
Having come to the end of our stay in Westport, we drove back to Knock Airport in the early hours of the morning via the N5. However, signs for the airport were non-existent en-route. We came to a sign for 'Knock' and wasted a lot of time driving towards it before we realised the airport was in a completely different direction. The first airport sign appeared just a couple of miles from the airport itself. Perhaps the €10 Airport Development Fee the airport 'extracts' from departing passengers (rather than from the companies who [will] make money from the airport), could be invested in better signage throughout the region? Or maybe they want it to remain invisible? 
Perhaps the Airport Development Committee could also be bothered to get a 24 hour filling station on the airport site - or nearby at least - so that tourists can fill up before returning hired cars to the airport rental companies? We - like many other tourists - had to return our hire car with a full tank of petrol to avoid a massively overpriced fuel surcharge by the rental company, but we were not able to do this? Why not? Because on the drive from Westport to the airport in the early hours of the morning there wasn't a single petrol station open along the entire route! Could the Airport Development people learn a lesson from Westport, which has an unmanned Gas Oil and Diesel station in the town? Or perhaps the Airport Development Committee have a sweetheart deal with car hire companies to prevent such a convenience for visitors being put in place? 
Westport town and environs was wonderful, but immediate and essential work is required on the so-called 'gateway to the West' that the airport is supposed to be.  

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