Central Statistics Office figures show that passenger numbers increased in all airports except Waterford.
Waterford Airport has no scheduled air services following the collapse of the Belgian airline, VLM, in June last year.
The CSO figures show that Waterford Airport passenger numbers fell from 34,249, in 2015, to 13,511, last year.
The airport was allocated €870,000 from the Department of Transport last September, but will only receive the money when it has a scheduled service again.
Airport management has been looking for a replacement service since losing the London-Luton link.
The airport is used by corporate jets and as a base for the Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue helicopter.
Of the 3.1m additional passengers travelling through Irish airports last year, 2.8m (92%) passed through Dublin Airport.
In 2015, 30m passengers passed through the airports, an increase of 12.5% over the previous year.
Last year’s was the highest number since 2008, when 31.3m people used the airports.
Some 247,000 flights were managed by the country’s five main airports last year, with Dublin accounting for 83% of them and Cork 8%.
Dublin Airport handled the highest number of passengers, or 27,778,888, an 11% increase on 2015.
Cork, with 2,226,233 passengers, was up 8%, while Kerry, with 325,670, was up 7%. The total number of departing passengers marginally exceeded those arriving. There were 16,411,135 departures and 16,330,092 arrivals.
The airports handled 146,829 tonnes of freight last year, a decrease on the 2015 figure of 149,800 tonnes.
London-Heathrow, London-Gatwick, and Manchester were the most popular routes for passengers passing trough Dublin Airport.
For Cork, the top-three routes were London-Heathrow, London-Stansted, and Amsterdam.
Last year, nine out of every 10 passengers (87.8%) on international flights from Ireland’s main airports were travelling to or from Europe, and within that the two most popular countries were Britain and Spain.
Outside of Europe, the United States was the most popular country to visit.
Meanwhile, Cork Airport has released a video by Polish photographer Karol Kachmarsky which puts the spotlight on the airport and shows off all that is good about the surrounding area.
The video features on Cork Airport’s Facebook page. It has been viewed by 165,000 people since it was released just over a week ago.
Kerry Airport has welcomed a new charter service, operated by Austrian travel company, Moser Reisen, and this will bring an additional 2,200 tourists into the region, when it begins in the summer.
Dublin Airport announced that Air Arabia Maroc will operate a new twice-weekly service from Dublin to Agadir, in Morocco, from October, making the winter holiday spot more accessible.