Up to 850 jobs are earmarked for the aviation sector when Shannon airport becomes an independent facility at the end of the year.
The Irish Government has revealed that on December 31 Shannon will separate from Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), leaving the authority saddled with €100m worth of debt.
The airport will be merged with a restructured Shannon Development to form a new, publicly-owned, commercial entity in 2013.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said 850 jobs have been secured from two local companies as part of the plan for an international aviation services centre (IASC).
Mr Varadkar said the decision was historic and will free the board and management of Shannon airport, together with their employees, to bring a fresh approach to the future development of the airport.
"A key element of that future will be the development of an international aviation services centre in and around the airport, building on a range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon such as aircraft maintenance and leasing," he added.
About 220 people are employed at Shannon, which has been loss-making since 2008, with passenger numbers down 60% over the past five years.
The Siptu trade union said it is disappointed by the move, which it described as unrealistic given that it is based on a model which envisages an increase of passenger numbers by 50% within a short timescale.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary maintained Shannon should be sold to a private owner instead of being transferred to another quango.