Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions
Use of Irish Airspace and Landing Facilities: (Resumed) Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
I thank the Deputy. As for his first question on whether, because there are fewer civil aircraft now coming through the airport, it would be easier to deploy an operation, the logical answer to that question is that because fewer aircraft were going through any kind of a check or mechanism, it would be covering a smaller number of aircraft than was the case in the past. As for my own role in this regard, I must emphasise again - I acknowledge this may be unsatisfactory to the committee - that I only have a role in respect of civil aircraft. I have no role with regard to military aircraft or aircraft used for any other purpose. I am purely focused on that point. As for the checking of assurances provided, I reiterate that the Government raises these matters with the US Government when an aircraft is coming through. The Government accepts the assurances given to it and if anybody has evidence to the contrary with regard to the breaking of those assurances, it is a matter then for the regulatory body or for the Garda Síochána to investigate it.