Written answers

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Department of Agriculture and Food

Departmental Transport

9:00 pm

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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Question 667: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if her Department has used helicopters for any purpose for each year since 2002 to date in 2008; the reason for such use; the suppliers of the helicopter; the dates and locations visited and distance travelled; the cost of same and persons carried; if quotations were sought for such trips; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12412/08]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Minister, Department of Agriculture and Food; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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In 2003, the Engineering Division of my Department commissioned an aerial survey of the entire Irish Coastline. The filming aspect of the survey was undertaken in September/October 2003 using a helicopter.

The contract for survey was awarded after a public tender process. The contractor was RSK Orbital Ltd, Cheshire, UK. The helicopter subcontractor was Irish Helicopters Ltd. The total cost of the survey was €260,000 excluding VAT. This cost included all filming, geographic work, and post processing. The element of costs associated with the provision of helicopter services is not available. The only persons carried were technical personnel involved in the survey process.

In addition, my colleague, the Minister for Defence will be providing information regarding the use of Air Corps helicopters for all Ministerial travel for the period in question.

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