The Irish Aviation Authority recorded an operating profit of €22.9m last year, up 27% on 2011.

The IAA, which is State-owned, provides air traffic management services in Irish airspace and also acts as a regulator in relation to safety and security standards.

It had a turnover of €175m in 2012 and paid a €5m dividend to the Department of Transport.

The majority of the IAA’s revenue comes from en route charges, which covers international aircraft using Irish airspace to reach another destination.

It also generates income from its regulatory work, through the provision of a communications service in the north-east Atlantic and from charges for its airport terminal service.