Construction of the proposed new runway at Dublin Airport will begin in March 2021, according to the Minister for Transport.

Shane Ross, who was before the Oireachtas Transport Committee, outlined the legislative and planning process in relation to the runway.

Fingal County Council will be the airport noise regulator on the project, while planning regulation will come under An Bord Pleanála, he said.

Mr Ross told the committee that he expected the Airport Noise Regulation Bill would be enacted by the end of the year and the regulatory process would be completed by 2020.

He defended the decision to appoint the council as the noise regulator.

Initially, the Irish Aviation Authority was given responsibility for noise-related operating restrictions, but following advice from the attorney general, it was decided the council would assume the role as the noise regulator based on its independent role.

Mr Ross said that irrespective of the wishes of local residents, the IAA and the department; the attorney general was not satisfied that the Irish Aviation Authority be responsible for noise regulation.

Since European noise regulations were introduced in 2016, he said that national regional authorities (similar to Fingal County Council) have been appointed in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Greece, France and Finland.

An IAA equivilant has been appointed in Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden, while Belgium, Romania, Spain and the UK have not designated their authority yet.

The minister said Fingal County Council "offered the best way forward" following discussions with the department. "We didn't have a large number of alternatives", he said.