The main role and responsibilities of the Airports Division include the formulation and implementation of Irish Airports Policy, corporate governance of daa and Shannon Group, the administration of a number of financial support schemes for the regional airports and regional air services serving those airports.  The overall objective is the sustainable development of airports to ensure appropriate levels of connectivity to support Ireland’s economic and social goals in line with the National Aviation Policy

Specific objectives are to:

  • Facilitate the optimum structure to ensure strong network of airports.
  • Support the development of State airports in their respective markets; Dublin Airport as a secondary hub, Cork and Shannon Airports as gateways for business and tourism purposes.
  • Review existing regulatory regime for airport charges, consult with stakeholders, decide future policy for regulation of airport charges and make appropriate legislative changes.
  • Implement the Regional Airports Programme 2015-2019.

Other functions currently being carried out by Airports Division include:

  • Liaising with U.S. authorities on on-going U.S. preclearance issues at Shannon and Dublin Airports.
  • Chairing the bi-annual National Facilitation (FAL) Committee which comprises key stakeholders in the aviation sector with the overall aim of improving the passenger experience at our airports and ensuring implementation of the FAL programme. 
  • Publication of statistical information on the Department’s website, including passenger numbers, new routes, cargo carried and airport commercial movements.

State Airports

The Department has primary responsibility for the shareholder function in respect of daa plc and Shannon Group plc, both commercial semi-state companies.   In that context it oversees the corporate governance of these two companies.   daa plc and Shannon Group plc comply with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, which sets out the principles of corporate governance which the boards of State bodies are required to observe. 


daa is a public limited company, responsible for the management, operation and development of Dublin and Cork Airports, Irish and International airport retail management (ARI) and international airport investment (daaI).   The relevant legislation governing the operation of the Company is the Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act, 1998 as amended by the State Airports Act 2004.

Shannon Group is a public limited company whose principal activities include the operation, management and development of Shannon Airport, the management and development of the commercial property portfolio held by Shannon Commercial Properties (formerly part of Shannon Development) and the operation of the tourism sites managed by Shannon Heritage.  A fourth business unit of the Group is the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) which is focused on further development of the aviation business cluster in Shannon.  The relevant legislation governing the operation of the Company is the State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014.

Regional Airports

Exchequer support relating to Ireland’s regional airports (Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK), Kerry and Waterford) is provided through the Regional Airports Programme 2015-2019.

The Programme provides for Exchequer support towards safety and security related projects at the four regional airports in Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry and Waterford under five separate Schemes:

  • Capital Expenditure Grant (CAPEX) Scheme
  • A Core Airport Management Operational Expenditure Subvention (OPEX) Scheme
  • Public Policy Remit Capital Expenditure Grant (PPR-C) Scheme
  • Public Policy Remit Operational Expenditure Subvention (PPR-O) Scheme
  • Public Service Obligation (PSO) Air Services Scheme operating between Kerry and Dublin Airports and between Donegal and Dublin Airports.

All funding of regional airports by the State must comply with EU Guidelines on State Aid to airports and airlines.  


Dublin Airport Authority

Cork Airport Authority

Aer Rianta International

Shannon Airport Authority