The Government has signed a new contract to secure air services to and from the Aran Islands for the next four years.

The €5.6 million deal will see Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann, operating flights to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr.

The agreement includes day to day management of the State owned Aerfort Chonamara, along with aerodromes on the three islands.

The company is also charged with the management of two other facilities in Cleggan - near Clifden - and on Inisbofin.

Built at a cost of €9 million, the airstrips have never been formally commissioned and have been effectively lying idle for years.

The new contract with Galway Aviation Services runs until 2025.