Cork Airport Incompetence

I meant to write this post a few months back and was finally reminded to yesterday when I was in Cork Airport yet again.

The old airport carparks had the most unreliable equipment on the planet, pure third world garbage. I spent more time stuck in queues trying to get out of there due to malfunctioning barriers than any other airport, including Dublin which I have used more.

So you’d think, when spending €180m on a new airport (and hoping we taxpayers will stump up the money for it), that they’d find a supplier of equipment that, ye know, actually works. Silly me, of course they decided to use the same rubbish as before. Does Cork Airport Authority understand that the phrase “competitive tender” does not mean “cheapest” or “close personal friend”, it means “competitive”?

In the past six months:

  • I was locked into the carpark at 1am for 40 minutes. The barrier ate my ticket and the intercom system would not work. Of course if you embed an intercom into a barrier then the intercom will fail along with the barrier. What incompetent morons [a] designed this and [b] purchased it? A Thomas The Tank Engine Walkie Talkie duct-taped to the machine would be a more intelligent engineering approach to system reliability. I ended up running down to the terminal TWICE to ask to be let out and still failed to exit. Only the arrival of the hotel shuttle bus saved me.
  • On another occasion, the ticket machine printed my ticket so badly that it could not be machine-read when I returned to pay. Of course the support desk was not manned and multiple calls had to be made before someone turned up and printed me a new one so I could leave.
  • I have seen queues of people stuck coming out of the short term car-park due to equipment malfunction.
  • One of the ticket machines has been broken for months. In fact, it’s been broken for so long that they have erected a permanent “temporarily out of service” sign! Has the airport not got an SLA in their service contract with the equipment provider? Or is that too complex for them? [](

Permanent Temporary Sign in Cork Airport - Share on Ovi

A few simple steps:

  • Dump the incompetent supplier
  • Demote or fire the person who re-ordered this rubbish
  • Replace the equipment with something that works. Maybe ring Frankfurt and ask them what they use
  • Look up the acronym SLA If Al-Qaeda wants an easy way into Ireland then Cork Airport is the route to take. There are obviously no CCTV cameras in operation or else these constant problems would be noticed far sooner by staff. If the Airport Authority is interested, I know a guy who could set them up with a reliable mesh of wireless enabled webcams for a few hundred Euro. Not everything has to cost €180m and reliability can be a default.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland