The text has now been issued of the Bill to establish at Shannon the world's first customs-free air port. This is a most interesting development, and shows how, as we have pointed out before, air travel is bringing Eire into the international orbit.
The scheme was first approved by the International Air Conference at Chicago in 1944, and aims at freeing passengers in transit from the inconvenience of having to submit to Customs inspection when waiting at Rineanna, and is also expected to encourage the development of processing and entrepot trades within the airport; the Minister for Industry and Commerce has powers to permit the carrying on of various processing operations. Sleeping accommodation will be provided within the free airport, for those who need to spend the night there.
Other developments have been foreshadowed for Rineanna by Mr. Peter Masefield, Director of LongTerm Planning in the British Ministry of Civil Aviation, when passing through Shannon: he said it was possible that Shannon Airport would he tr-ed as a station for a new fleet of giant flying boats which were being built for the B.O.A.C. (Experts seem now to agree that Rineanna is one of the few major airports on this side of the Atlantic which can be developed so as to be used by both sea and land planes.) Mgr. Von Wagenbergh, Rector of the University of Louvain. presided at a conference given by M. K. Lindsay,