The Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen, has confirmed that he asked the British Ministry of Transport for details of dangerous landing approaches made by Ryanair.

This relates to the issue of Ryanair pilots landing planes too fast at some English airports.

Launching an €86m grants scheme for regional Irish airports, the minister said he was also anxious to know if the same had happened in Ireland.

The minister said aircraft and passenger security is central to good practice in the aviation sector and he hoped a recent incident involving a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Cork was the exception rather than the rule.

He said he would only call for a formal investigation by the Irish Aviation Authority when he has all of the facts.

He said the IAA carried out 'regular audits of all airlines, including Ryanair'. Mr Cullen said that it was his understanding that to date, the IAA has been satisfied with the procedures that have been in place.

He added that he was anxious to find out if it was possible that what happened at British airports had happened in Ireland.

The British Air Line Pilots Association has claimed that the reported incidents are due to Ryanair's low-cost culture and fast turnaround times, but Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary blames 'jet jockeys' for attempting irregular manoeuvres.

He added that pilots would be demoted if they failed to follow safety procedures.

Last month, the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit issued a report on a 'serious incident' involving a Ryanair plane attempting to land at Cork Airport in June last year.