Almost 200,000 troops use Shannon
FIGURES RELEASED by the Shannon Airport Authority show that almost 200,000 US troops have passed through Shannon airport for the first nine months of this year.
Figures released by the authority show that 188,018 troops have passed through on 1,322 flights through the airport from January to the end of September.
The figures for the third quarter are up with 63,400 troops going through Shannon from July to September compared to 57,700 for the second quarter.
However, the numbers are down on last year and troop levels going through Shannon this year are unlikely to exceed the 262,816 troops that used the airport in 2007 unless there is a strong surge in the fourth quarter.
Last year the number of US troops using Shannon as a stop-off passed the one million mark since the US war started in Iraq.
The authority does not release the profits made from the US troop traffic, but it is estimated that it will have made a profit of €7 million last year through the troop business.
This follows the estimated profit of €16.4 million made from the troop traffic in 2006 and 2005.
The figures for the first nine months show overall passenger numbers down by 13 per cent due to the ending of the Shannon stopover and the ending of the Shannon-Heathrow route.