The EU has approved the Government's €26m Covid-19 aid package for airport operators here, finding it complies with temporary state aid rules.

The scheme is designed to help airports to cope with some of the huge losses they have faced as a result of the dramatic drop in air traffic caused by restrictions put in place to control the pandemic.

Airports in Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock, Kerry and Donegal are all set to benefit under the plan which was announced in November.

In order to qualify they must have handled a million passengers in 2019.

The aid will be delivered in the form of direct grants, with guarantees and loans also possible and will cover the period from April 1 to June 30 last year.

The scheme includes damage compensation measures, aid support of up to €1.8m per airport and separate assistance to help with fixed costs.

In its assessment, the European Commission found that the measures complied with both the EU treaties and the State aid Temporary Framework.

"The Commission concluded that both measures are necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State," it said in a statement.