It would be easy to drive out the Killadeas Road and say: “There isn’t much here.”

The hinterlands of Trory, Ballycassidy, and Killadeas are populous, but not exactly a town.

However, not featuring this diverse area in the ‘Focus on...’ series would truly do a disservice to the many people who live and work there.

After all, the area has a rich business community with far too many businesses to mention individually, but equally all are providing employment and services to those who live in the area, in many sectors.

From the powerful and mighty sawmills of Balcas to the splendour of the Manor House Hotel, the area is "a hub of business”, according to locals.

One such hub in the area is Cathcart’s Power Equipment. Founded more than 50 years ago, it is now in the hands of the Byrne family as part of the Modern Tyre group, with Shane Byrne at the helm.

Mr. Byrne said: “We have a great team of staff here and loyal customers, and we are happy with what we have done.

"The Cathcarts were well thought of and traded with people all over the country, so we have a great customer base here, which we are thankful for.

"The two brands are Honda and Stihl, and they have been the brands here for 50 years. They are top-class, and we can give a lifetime warranty with them.”

Reflecting on the area, he said: “They are great, nice people here. I live here myself. We are delighted to be in this area.”

With a laugh, he added: “I am only here 20 years, so I am not that local!”

Further down the road are Keith and Flo Elliott, who were processing some administrative matters at Ballycassidy House Funeral Home when The Impartial Reporter popped by.

Mr. Elliott - a funeral director and a DUP councillor - noted: “There is a good community here. There are people walking every day up and down the footpaths, from Ballycassidy Bridge to Trory Bridge, and they stop and chat."

The site where his business stands has a rich social history. He explained: “This used to be Bobby Hetherington’s garage. This would have been a gathering point for the local men, the likes of Bobby, Jim West, and Willy Ferguson.”

Mr. Elliott, like others, praised the business offering of the close-knit area. He added: “There is farming and houses in between; it is surprising how many people live in the immediate area.”

The aforementioned Willy Ferguson was only a few minutes away, and was found relaxing in his home, where he reminisced on the ways things one were in the area.

He, like many others, says the area is welcoming and has “friendly people”.

Mr. Ferguson noted: “We never had a disagreement with one person about here.”

Listing names of people, he remarked “A lot of the older residents have passed away now in the last while.”

He explained that one of the newer housing developments in the area is built on the former site of a Sergeants' Mess during World War Two times.

He added: “This here [his home] was one of the buildings too. The outside wall is original, and I reroofed it.”

The area, through the airport, has strong military connections from that war.

“There was a lot of activity around here during the war. I was reared on Mossfield Road, and I remember the aircrafts coming in.

"When I was a boy of five, we were [living] in the flight path, and you could nearly put your hands on the pilots coming in over the houses!”

Mr. Ferguson, like many, attended the recent D-Day 80 commemoration at the airport. “You couldn’t have missed that!” he said with a smile.

“There are a lot of things run there that I go to, car racing, motorbikes. I do go to them if the day is good. That [D-Day 80] was a big day.

"It’s the biggest day I’ve ever seen at it. I mind, in the early days, there being aeroplane shows at it.

"Douglas Bader [a famous RAF fighter pilot who was a double amputee] came over, and I have his signature on a show programme.”

Enniskillen Airport is indeed a focal point of the area. The view from the control tower is fine even on a blustery and overcast day.

Previously, the airport had been run by Fermanagh District Council at a loss, but in 2004, it was re-opened by Alan Cathcart and business partner Stephen Finlay as a private business that leases the site from the Council. Mr. Cathcart is now the sole owner.

He said: “Thankfully, we've turned it around. Instead of the council losing half a million pounds a year, they are getting the rent, the rates, and the employment.

"So it's not costing people of the county anything; it's a benefit without any financial barriers.”

Apart from hosting a group of private aircraft and pilots, the airport facilitates services for the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance and other medical teams to help the local community.

Mr. Cathcart explained: “One of the things we do is medical flights. These will be organ harvesting flights, and unfortunately, if someone has passed away and wants to donate their organs, surgical teams will then fly in from England, and Scotland.

"We are the only airport on the island of Ireland that is open on Christmas Day.

"We had a flight last Christmas, and a plane left here with organs to bring to England and move them across the country.”

All the senior members of the Royal family have arrived at Enniskillen Airport. King Charles III has landed at the airport four times.

Traffic in and out of the airport peaks in the summer months and during periods of good weather.

“On a good day, we will get 40 to 50 movements here. There could be training flights which are going on all the time,” explained Mr. Cathcart.

When asked if he always had a love of aviation, Mr. Cathcart explains that when he moved to the area as a child of six, he used to look out the window and watch planes arriving and taking off from the airport.

Several businesses base themselves at the airport, with many focused on aviation.

The Airport Diner, operated by John Joseph, is one of the most popular offerings for those travelling by air, road, and foot.

Two of the most popular questions Mr. Cathcart gets on the phone from people wishing to fly into Enniskillen Airport are: “Are you open? Is the café open?”

Other major undertakings by the airport include exercises working closely with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, the RNLI, the PSNI, Irish Coastguard, and UK Coastguard, as well as a host of large-scale events.

Located just up the road at Killadeas is the Enniskillen RNLI Station. The modern purpose-built lifeboat station was officially opened in July, 2023, and volunteer crews are often busy on the water, especially during the summer months.

Issuing some important safety advice, Enniskillen RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Gary Jones said: “It is important that anyone visiting open water understands the risks of the environment.

"We want to make sure people know what to do in an emergency. If you get into trouble in the water, float to live: tilt your head back with your ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing.

"Use your hands to help you stay afloat, and then, once you are through the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety if you can.”

So whether you visit this area by land, water, or air, you will meet a community that is a testament to growth and collaboration, and have an opportunity to enjoy the unique character and enduring spirit of the area.