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A Guide To Knock Airport

A Guide To Knock Airport

Knock Airport in County Mayo is arguably one of the most famous airports in Ireland.

Officially known as ‘Ireland West Airport’, you’ll find it in County Mayo near the renowned Knock Shrine.

Knock Airport caters to both domestic and international flights and it is the gateway to the many wonders that the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer.

Some quick need-to-knows about Knock Airport

Although a visit to Knock Airport is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Situated in Charlestown, Knock Airport is within easy reach of Galway, Sligo, and Donegal. It’s a 45-minute drive from Westport, a 40-minute drive from Ballina and a 55-minute drive from Cong.

2. Parking

Knock Airport offers over 1,500 spaces in its short-term and long-term parking areas, all located within walking distance of the terminal.

3. Amenities

Facilities include bars and restaurants (barwest, eatwest and Sláinte Barista Cafe) , a shopping area, car rental services, and free WiFi throughout the terminal.

4. Airlines

Airlines such as Ryanair, Aer Lingus, and Flybe provide connections to various destinations across the UK and Europe.

5. Road trips starting here

We have countless road trip itineraries that use Knock as a starting point. You can choose itineraries that use only public transport or ones that use a car. Find them all here.

What to know about arriving in/leaving from Knock Airport


Photos via Shutterstock

So, if you’re used to flying in/out of the likes of Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport or Belfast International Airport, you’ve a nice alternative experience ahead of you.

We’d argue that if every airport could deliver the same experience as Knock Airport, flying would be a much more enjoyable process.


The airport can be reached by local bus services, taxis, and rental cars. The airport is also well connected to major towns in the region by motorway.


Knock Airport advise that flyers should arrive no later than 2 hours before departure time.

Now, we’ve heard of people arriving much closer to their flight time than this, and encountering no issues, but it’s always recommend that you follow the official advice.


The security section at Knock is the same that you’ll encounter in most airports. You’ll need your liquids separated, laptops out of your bag and all of the usual bits and bobs out of your pockets. More info here.

A brief history of Knock Airport

Knock Airport was the brainchild of Monsignor James Horan – the parish priest of Knock from 1967 to 1986.

Despite considerable initial skepticism and endless financial challenges, Horan managed to get the airport built.

Sadly, he passed away on a pilgrimage to Lourdes only months after the airport opened 1986.

The airport has gone from strength-to-strength over the years, successfully boosting tourism and providing easy access for pilgrims visiting the nearby Knock Shrine.

In 2003, it was renamed Ireland West Airport Knock, reflecting its strategic location in the breath-taking West of Ireland.

Today, the airport welcomes hundreds of thousands of passengers annually, from pilgrims to tourists, and continues to play a pivotal role in the region’s economy and transportation network.

Things to do near Knock Airport

Croagh Patrick hike

Photos courtesy Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack via Failte Ireland

One of the beauties of Knock Airport is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Mayo.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Knock Airport!

1. Knock Shrine

Knock Shrine is a world-renowned Catholic pilgrimage site attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year.

2. Museum of Country Life

This museum offers a glimpse into rural Irish life from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.

3. Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick is one of Ireland’s most iconic pilgrimage sites, this mountain offers panoramic views of Clew Bay.

4. Westport House

Westport House is a historic manor estate in Westport offering various attractions for families, including pirate adventure parks and a bird of prey centre.

5. Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is a medieval and Victorian castle turned luxury hotel, offering falconry, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

FAQs about Knock Airport

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is there any point flying here?’ to ‘How long does it take to get through it?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How early should I arrive at Knock Airport before my flight?

It’s advised to arrive at Knock Airport at least 120 minutes before your flight’s scheduled departure time.

What facilities are available for passengers with reduced mobility?

The airport provides wheelchair assistance, lowered counters, and accessible toilets.

Are there dining options in the airport?

Yes, Knock Airport houses a restaurant and bar for passengers to enjoy refreshments.

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