Hotel squeeze likely at Ryder Cup

 - September 12, 2006, 12:11 PM

Passengers on corporate and private aircraft flocking to Ireland for this month’s Ryder Cup golf tournament could face inflated parking rates and a shortage of hotels. Flight-planning group Universal Weather & Aviation has urged operators to make plans early for the event, which is being held from September 22 through 26 at the K Club outside Dublin.

The availability of arrival and departure slots is not expected to present too much of a problem, but aircraft parking spaces are in short supply at Dublin Airport and, in any case, are expensive for stays of more than 48 hours. According to Brendan O’Grady, managing director of Universal Aviation in Ireland, there is also likely to be a shortage of hotel accommodation in the area, so he recommended that aircrew consider positioning their aircraft at Shannon on Ireland’s west coast after dropping off passengers in Dublin (a 20-minute flight). Universal can arrange preferential rates at Shannon, which is near some of Ireland’s finest scenery and golf courses.

Situated at Straffran in County Kildare, the K Club is about 23 miles from Dublin Airport, a trip that can easily take an hour in peak-period traffic. Helicopter shuttles from Shannon will be available, with a flight time of 12 minutes on top of a 10-minute drive from the helipad, which is located on the other side of the airport from the main fixed-wing ramps. The last helicopter departure from the K Club will be at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

Universal has been making bookings for hotels and ground transportation for several weeks. It has reserved rooms at several venues and will also provide chauffeured Range Rovers to transport corporate guests to the tournament or to other locations in and around the Irish capital.