The company began operations in 1937 and was originally known as Aer Rianta. Aer Rianta’s name was derived from the translation of ‘Air Ways’ in Irish. The company’s original remit was to “operate lines of aerial conveyances directly or by means of Aer Lingus” the then national airline. The company started life as the operator of Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport and Aer Lingus and subsequently expanded to include Cork Airport and ARI (Aer Rianta International). In 2004, after almost 70 years in business, the State Airports Act created Dublin Airport Authority plc. On January 1, 2013, Shannon Airport separated from the Group. The company’s name changed to daa plc in November 2014. .
The first flight from Dublin Airport took off on January 19, 1940 with a scheduled Aer Lingus service to Liverpool. Aviation in general in Ireland grew slowly in the years from the end of World War II to the late 1960s when the improving economy of the country began to see a significant growth in scheduled commercial services. On October 24, 1946, the first scheduled commercial flight flew into Shannon Airport, when an American Overseas Airlines (AOA) DC4 landed from the US.
Aviation in general in Ireland grew slowly in the years from the end of World War II to the late 1960s when the improving economy of the country began to see a significant growth in scheduled commercial services. Cork Airport officially opened on October 16, 1961. Aer Rianta and Aer Lingus became separate companies in 1968.
Each of the company’s then three airports experienced significant capital development in the 1970s which included the construction of new passenger terminal buildings and piers, the expansion of existing passenger facilities, and the provision of extensive car parking and cargo handling facilities. The 1970s also saw Dublin Airport open a new 8,600-foot runway.
Dublin Airport opened a new main runway in 1989, while the runway at Cork Airport was extended by 1,000 feet. ARI started operations overseas with duty free stores in Russia in 1988.
Annual passenger numbers at Dublin increased to 10 million for the first time, while Cork Airport surpassed the 1 million passenger milestone for the first time in 1996.
Cork Airport’s new terminal opened for business in August 2006. Late 2010 saw the completion of a major €1.3 billion investment programme at Dublin Airport. Investments included the construction of a new passenger terminal, Terminal 2, two new boarding gate areas, and a new campus road network. Terminal 2 opened for business in November 2010. Shannon Airport separated from the Group in 2013. The company was renamed daa in 2014 to more accurately reflect the business which now comprises Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, ARI and daa International.