An airport in Northern Ireland is being eyed by Irish Transport Minister Shane Ross.
The idea is to have an airport at the site of a former British post office in the town of Newtownabbey.
The Belfast Airport Authority said the Northern Ireland International Airport (NIIA) has been awarded a €1.2 billion contract by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
NIIA was chosen over the former Keady’s International Airport in Cork.
Its first aircraft will fly from the site in 2019.
The Northern Ireland Airport Authority has been working for the last two years to prepare the site for a new airport.
It is expected to be completed by 2022.
It said the development will provide an opportunity for Belfast to become a hub for international aviation.
NIIA Director General Paul Kelly said the airport will be an important hub for air travel between Europe and Ireland.NIIA has been in the spotlight in recent months over its handling of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire.
The authority has faced criticism over its role in failing to properly control the blaze and its failure to provide adequate evacuation measures.
The authorities’ response has been criticised by campaigners for the residents of the area who live in the immediate vicinity of the former post office and nearby to the airport.
The area of Newtown Abbey was chosen as a potential site for the proposed airport in a tender which had been opened by the Irish Government.
The new airport will also include a number of amenities for the local community, including a cafe and a community centre.
It is hoped the airport, which has been set for completion in 2021, will contribute to reducing the number of deaths in the region and contribute to the local economy.