Shane Ross has said the option of a third terminal is "on the table" at Dublin Airport.
The transport minister was speaking after a capacity review of the county's airports was published by his department.
It estimates that passenger numbers arriving in to Dublin are set to rise by an average of 2% per year - before reaching 54 million passengers by 2050.
Mr Ross said he was "acutely aware" of the dependence of the national economy on airports, particularly Dublin.
Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport goes green for the 2013 St Patrick's Festival | Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie
"I want to ensure that there is an open approach to the policy options for expansion of Dublin Airport and specifically an examination of the merit of introducing competition in the provision of terminal services.
"The report confirms that this is a possible option.
"I will now seek to establish the views of key stakeholders before considering the matter further and deciding a way forward", he said.
The minister is inviting the public's views on the findings of the review through a public consultation.
This'll take place between now and the end of the year.