Aviation Authority paying a €9.2m dividend to State after busy 2016
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is paying a €9.2m dividend to the State after making a €39.5m operating profit last year, up 18.3pc on 2015.
The IAA, a semi-state body whose chief executive is Eamonn Brennan, is responsible for managing Irish-controlled airspace and overseeing civil aircraft registration and safety.
It generates 89pc of its fees from the provision of air traffic control and voice communications services to airlines.
Nearly 90pc of all flights travelling between Europe and the United States pass through Irish-controlled airspace.
The IAA's busiest day last year was on June 23, when 1,727 aircraft transited the North Atlantic.
Traffic at Irish State-owned airports and through Irish-controlled airspace increased by more than 8pc last year, and the IAA handled slightly more than 1.1 million flights in 2016. The IAA's turnover rose 4.6pc last year to €191.9m.
The IAA said that it will boost its stake in Aireon, a US company that has developed a space-based air traffic surveillance system, from the current 5.4pc to 6pc later this year as part of a planned capital contribution.
The $2.9m (€2.7m) the IAA will invest will bring its total financial commitment to Aireon to just over €24m.
In January, the first 10 satellites for the Aireon system were launched by SpaceX, the privately-owned launch company established by Elon Musk. A total of 81 satellites will be deployed for the Aireon system, which is due go live next year.