The biggest VIP to touch down at Knock airport, US Vice-President Joe Biden.

New TV series explores the story of Knock airport

THE rise and rise of Ireland West Airport Knock will be explored in a new six-part UTV Ireland documentary series beginning on Monday, November 7, at 8 p.m.

For the first time, you'll get to see inside the unlikely success story of an airport which was initially a strip of tarmacadam atop a peaty mountain in The Airport Up in Knock.

With exclusive access to every part of the airport, The Airport Up in Knock is a unique documentary following the daily lives of the customers and staff and demonstrates how tightly woven the airport is into the modern DNA of Mayo and the west of Ireland. 

The series will follow Jim Corry, the airport’s head of technical operations since it opened in 1986, as he makes sure that all of the airport’s navigational equipment is running smoothly for a vital inspection from the aviation authority. If the equipment isn’t up to scratch then the whole airport could be shut down - will everything go according to plan?

Head of operations John McCarthy is busy overseeing the preparations for a celebration of 30 years in the business.

Downstairs, Anne Hardman and the rest of the customer services department are busy helping passengers from all walks of life get to where they need to go, in a speedy fashion. 

Elsewhere, Donal Healy and Audrey Elliot from the marketing department are devising ways to highlight the new route to Edinburgh from the airport, while also planning ahead to welcome the airport’s 10 millionth passenger, who is unwittingly about to arrive into the airport - what surprise is in store for this lucky traveller?

The airport’s chief of security, Pearse Concannon, is working with members of the gardaí and Defence Forces to get ready for the arrival of their biggest VIP yet – the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden.

Perched high above the rest of the airport in the control tower, Mike Connolly and his team of air-traffic controllers have a bird’s eye of all arrivals and departures.

And the series also catches up with two commuters who travel through Knock airport each week to work in the UK.

Speaking about the new series, The Airport up in Knock, executive producer Jamie D’Alton of Motive Television said: “This series was inspired by the tireless work of those who make Knock airport an important gateway to the west of Ireland. We wanted to highlight the vast visitor numbers that the airport generates in the wider region, as well as the important role it plays in the daily lives of many local people through employment. Business is booming, and as the airport celebrates its 30th birthday this year, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.”