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
Given what the Minister has just said, I will move on to specific issues with regard to the 19 applications he turned down. I want to burrow into this issue a little. The Minister must have had some suspicions. He states we do not search aeroplanes, but for some reason he refused these 19 applications. What he seems to be saying is that generally the reason applications are refused is aeroplanes would be carrying indiscriminate weapons. As opposed to personal guns or rifles which are unloaded, apparently, such aeroplanes would possibly be carrying indiscriminate weapons such as cluster bombs and missiles. For some reason, the authorities, the Department or whoever assessed the risk of what might be carried on board, decided the particular flights might be carrying these things. On what basis did the Minister come to this conclusion? I share his concern, but I wonder why he suspected and refused 19 applications and does not equally suspect all of the others in respect of which he grants permission without having some evidence as to why he singled out these 19 applications.