The Irish Government has decided to retain ownership of Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports under the country's first national aviation policy.
Dublin Airport will be developed as a secondary hub to compete with other European airports in the global aviation services market.
Being a hub will enable Dublin to support transfer passengers in addition to local travellers, thus helping the airlines operate flights to more destinations, the policy observed.
Dublin Airport is currently ranked fifth in Europe in terms of weekly transatlantic seats.
The aviation policy recommends capacity expansion and a second, parallel runway at Dublin to support its development as a hub.
Meanwhile, Cork and Shannon Airports will be developed into key tourism and business gateways.
DAA operates the Dublin and Cork airports while the Shannon Group manages the latter.
The aviation policy released by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe, also envisages greater safety and competition among the airlines in the country, as wellas support for regional airports.
Donohoe said: "The aviation sector contributes significantly to the Irish economy, it contributes over €4bn directly to Ireland's GDP, supporting 26,000 jobs with a further 16,000 jobs indirectly.
"Last year 25.5 million passengers used Ireland's airports, up 7% on 2013 and total flights in Irish airspace grew by 2.7%. This trend looks set to continue with a record 15% increase in passenger volume at Dublin Airport reported for the first half of 2015."
The policy has observed that the presence of 28 airports in a small country with low population is a challenge.
"While regional airports retain a role in enabling international access, the development of the interurban road / rail network has reduced their importance for connectivity within Ireland," the report added.
Image: Dublin Airport. Photo © DAA plc.