Plan for aircraft museum in Dublin to rival Titanic Experience
A tourist attraction to rival that of Belfast's Titanic Experience is set to be created by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) in Dublin.
The wheels are already in motion, with the IAA already seeking possible locations for what will be "more than a museum", with Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel the favourite site.
The aim of the Irish Historic Flight Foundation, which will include a number of different interactive attractions for visitors, is to highlight the rich aircraft heritage in the country.
IAA chief Eamonn Brennan has opened negotiations with the Defence Department over the potential transfer of land to the foundation, with the department said to be very supportive of the idea.
Funding for the project has already been identified across the industry.
It is expected that a planning application will be in place by the end of the year, with the facility due to open by 2017.
Mr Brennan told the Pat Kenny Show that more detailed plans will be announced within the next few months.
"It's going to be a really big thing, like the Titanic Experience I hope."
He said the "aviation experience" will be a must-see for anyone with a passing interest in flying and will include restored aircraft along with an interactive experience.
"This is basically restoring old aircraft and old aircraft heritage, so we've currently got the Aer Lingus Iolar, the first aircraft, three chipmunk (aircraft) and they're all in flying order," said Mr Brennan.
"So if you're an aviation buff or have a love of aviation, this will be the place to learn all about it," he added.
"It's going to be a scientific exhibit for aviation, showing you about the theory of flying and how it all works.
"It'll be also interactive, with sit-in cinemas, simulators and flight systems. Everything that you need, it'll be there."
Ireland is steeped in aviation history. The first non-stop transatlantic flight landed in Ireland on June 13, 1919.
The first solo east-to-west crossing saw Scottish pilot James Mollison take off from Portmarnock Beach on August 18, 1932 and land in Canada.
Mr Brennan also said that with around 750 flights a day at Dublin Airport, they are finally getting back to being as busy as the Celtic Tiger era, while the bank holiday weekend is set to be the busiest of the year so far.
"Aviation in Ireland is doing really well and we expect next Friday to be our busiest day at the airports and in the airspace, so we're looking at 800 or 900 flights," said Mr Brennan.