Air transport regulation

Who regulates aviation in Ireland?

The Department of Transport regulates air transport. This includes commercial and private services.

EU airlines can fly freely within the EU/European Economic Area (EEA). They can do this without any restrictions on flight frequency or routes.

Airlines from countries outside of the EU/EEA must request permission. They must do this each time they want to fly to, from, or over Ireland.

The Department of Defence regulates military air transport in Ireland.


The Air Navigation and Transport Act 2022:

  • Set up a new commercial semi-state body AirNav Ireland
  • Made the Irish Aviation Authority the single aviation regulator for Ireland as it was merged with the Commission for Aviation Regulation

Irish Aviation Authority

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a commercial semi-state agency. It is the national aviation regulator. It is responsible for safety, security, and consumer protection functions. The IAA has taken on functions previously held by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

AirNav Ireland

AirNav Ireland (Irish Air Navigation Service) is a new semi-state company. It looks after air navigation and air traffic management and related services functions.


There are 9 airports in Ireland.

Dublin, Cork and Shannon are owned by the Irish government and operated on its behalf by separate airport authorities. The other Irish airports are at Waterford, Knock, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, and Kerry.

Passengers with reduced mobility have the right to assistance free of charge.

Air accidents and incidents

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is part of the Department of Transport. It has responsibility for investigating all plane accidents and incidents within Ireland. You can download reports of all air accidents, incidents, and investigations within Ireland.

Page edited: 2 May 2023