The increase was spurred by more traffic to the UK, and saw the first ever charter flight from Boston, with pilgrims arriving to visit the Knock shrine.
The number of passengers passing through the airport last year was up 7pc on 2015.
Most of the airport’s passengers travel to and from the UK. Last year, the total number of such passengers was 550,000. That was a 10pc increase on 2015.
It serves nine different UK airports, and said that the strong increase in UK passenger numbers highlights the importance of the airport from a regional perspective.
Managing director Joe Gilmore said that the passenger performance for 2016 was “good news” for the region’s economy, tourism, and job creation.
Last month, the airport was allocated almost €900,000 by the Department of Transport as part of a wider grant package to regional airports to help fund operational and capital expenditure.
In September, the airport was allocated a separate amount of €1.3m by the department.
Ireland West Airport Knock has also just had its busiest ever Christmas.