The Department of Transport has confirmed that the minister, Séamus Brennan, is considering using Baldonnel aerodrome in Dublin on Thursday, when Dublin airport is expected to be affected by SIPTU strike action.

It is understood Mr Brennan has asked his officials to look at the possibility of using the aerodrome on a limited basis for some aircraft on that and on any future strike days.

Earlier this week SIPTU's national industrial secretary, Michael Halpenny, confirmed there would be a six-hour work stoppage beginning at 7.30am at all three airports next Thursday.

SIPTU members in Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann are also planning a 24-hour stoppage from midnight on St Patrick's Day.