Plans to build a new regional airport in the midlands are proceeding, Offaly County Council has confirmed. 

A €2.5m Government grant is being sought for an airport project to be based in Tubber, Co Offaly, 18km from Tullamore and 22km from Athlone.

Midlands Airport Developments say over 2,000 jobs could be created if an airport at Tubber gets the go ahead and approval has already been given for a planning application to An Bord Pleanala.

Offaly County Council is now facilitating an application for €2.5m from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.

If granted the money will be used for preliminary work on environmental studies around the site.

Council director of services Tom Shanahan said any matching funding required will be coming from the project developers.

The project is headed up by a Tullamore-based architect Patrick Little, a former president of the local Chamber of Commerce, who has argued that a midlands airport is required because of over-capacity in Dublin.