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IAA playing its role in post COVID economic recovery with busy summer 2022 ahead

24 May 2022

Irish Aviation Authority revenues increase in 2021

IAA playing its role in post COVID economic recovery with busy summer 2022 ahead.


  • IAA turnover in 2021 was €162.3 million

  • Profit after tax was €9.5 million 

  • Aviation recovery showing sector’s resilience after two challenging years

  • Summer 2022 will be a very busy season; rebound to near 2019 levels

  • IAA restructuring in place internally, awaiting legislation of Air Navigation and Transport Bill 2020


Tuesday 24th May 2022: The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has today published its annual report and financial statements for 2021.  The Company has reported an operating profit, after tax, of €9.5 million for 2021 up from a loss in 2020 of €0.9 million. There was an increase of 17% in air traffic levels during 2021 where the IAA safely oversaw 586,273 flights, compared to 497,648 in 2020. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, total traffic levels managed by the IAA in 2021 remained equivalent to just 50% of 2019 levels when 1,176,490 flights were safely managed by the IAA.

Turnover increased by 4.3% to €162.3 million in 2021 from €155.5 million in 2020. The IAA revenues are generated through charges and fees to the aviation industry for its air traffic management and aviation regulatory services.  Charges and fees are among the lowest in Europe, and the IAA receives no operational or capital funding from the State.

Speaking at the IAA AGM held today, Ms Rose Hynes, Chairman of the IAA said:

“I am pleased to report strong results for 2021 despite the ongoing difficulties for the aviation industry during the year arising from the pandemic. While traffic levels remained down by 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels, the financial impact of this on the IAA was managed through strong financial management and the hard work and cooperation of our staff. We continued to ensure full delivery of our essential safety, regulatory and air navigation services to our customers. The IAA is also fully prepared for the split of the Company into two separate entities, new IAA and AirNav Ireland. We await the finalisation and passage into legislation by the Oireachtas of the Air Navigation and Transport Bill which will give effect to the separation.

Ms Hynes continued, “One of our highlights from 2021 was the launch of our Sustainability Management Plan (SMP), with Minister Hildegarde Naughton in September.  We continue to monitor progress towards our ambitious objective of being carbon neutral by end 2025. Indeed, as aviation recovers from COVID-19, the environmental challenge for the industry will be a priority. The IAA will be a leading advocate for sustainable aviation and innovation to address the climate challenge.”

Mr. Peter Kearney, Chief Executive of the IAA commenting on the annual report and financial results, said:

“Focusing on aviation recovery, the second half of 2021 saw a slow, but steady recovery for the aviation sector. The success of the vaccine roll-out, combined with the EU-wide Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) enabled both the industry and passengers to have the confidence to fly again. 2022 has started off very positively and we hope to maintain this strong traffic performance for the rest of the year. The IAA’s focus will as ever be on ensuring the safety of passengers and flight crew and the provision of a high-quality service to our airline customers.

“The aviation sector has shown its resilience and adaptability over the past two years. The dedication of staff across the IAA ensured that our skies remained open for vital supply chains, and we now look forward to better days as recovery strengthens. Safety will continue to be our number 1 priority as we support aviation recovery; however, we must also continue to adapt and innovate. I am excited about the work we will be doing this year and in the years to come on our new COOPANS air traffic management system, delivering benefits and cost savings for customers and passengers.

During 2021 the company completed its new air traffic control tower at Dublin airport, an iconic new structure delivered under the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. The new tower provides for significant safety, capacity and environmental benefits at Dublin airport.  A massive thank you to all our staff who worked tirelessly over the past few years on this complex project, and we look forward to an official opening in a couple of weeks’ time.”

The IAA’s safety regulatory and security oversight responsibilities continued to be delivered in an efficient and professional manner, supporting the Irish civil aviation industry in 2021.  Work continued on the digital transformation of regulatory services with ongoing progress on the IAA’s digitalisation project throughout the year.

The Authority continued to prepare during 2021 for the separation of the company into two legal entities, as provided for in the Air Navigation and Transport Bill 2020. In this regard, Mr. Diarmuid Ó Conghaile joined the IAA in January 2021 as Aviation Regulator and as the CEO designate of the reconstituted IAA, which will be the single independent aviation regulatory body, responsible for safety, security, economic, commercial and consumer regulation.

Mr. Diarmuid Ó Conghaile of the IAA commenting on the annual report and financial results, said:

“As Ireland’s Aviation Regulator, the safety and security of passengers, aircrew and the general public is our priority. Notwithstanding the pandemic, which wrought havoc on the industry in 2021, the IAA continued to provide best-in-class regulatory and compliance services and enhance its strong track record in safety regulatory delivery, both in Ireland and with our international partners.

These strong financial results places the company in a good position as we enter the final phase of legislative reform to create a new, independent aviation regulator for Ireland. This change is an exciting development for the company and positions us ideally to continue to serve the Irish aviation community and consumers.”



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The figures published today can be found in the Irish Aviation Authority 2021 Annual Report, which can be viewed online at www.iaa.ie/annualreport


Media Enquiries:

Rachel Martin | 087 3449993 | rachel.martin@iaa.ie




Irish Aviation Authority

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a commercial semi-State company employing over 700 people at six locations around Ireland. The IAA has two main functions: the regulation of the civil aviation industry in Ireland and the provision of air traffic management and related services in Irish controlled airspace.

The IAA is currently undergoing a process of structural change. Air navigation service provision (including air traffic control) will be separated out as a stand-alone entity, and the Commission for Aviation Regulation will be merged with the IAA. Peter Kearney will continue as CEO of the Air Navigation Service Provider, and Diarmuid Ó Conghaile has been appointed Aviation Regulator / CEO of the reconstituted IAA, which will be the overall sectoral regulator with responsibility for safety and security, as well as the economic regulation (incl. Dublin Airport charges), consumer protection and licensing/supervision of the travel trade. www.iaa.ie.