Written answers

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Military Aviation

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the total number of military aircraft that landed at Shannon Airport in 2012; the names of the State forces to which these aircraft belong; the reason these aircraft used the landing facilities at Shannon; and the average duration of their stay at Shannon. [11916/13]

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952 gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs primary responsibility for the regulation of activity by foreign military aircraft in Ireland. In 2012, my Department granted permission for the landing of 608 foreign military aircraft at Shannon Airport. Permission was granted in all cases subject to the normal conditions that apply to landings at Irish airports by foreign military aircraft; namely that the aircraft are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives, do not engage in intelligence gathering, and that the flights in question do not form any part of military exercises or operations.

The table provides details of the countries involved and the number of times permission was sought to land in Shannon Airport. In the vast majority of cases, military aircraft used the landing facilities at Shannon Airport for the purposes of refuelling and to allow for crew and passenger rest. In a small number of cases, aircraft landed in Shannon Airport to allow for the transport of dignitaries or other persons participating in visits to Ireland, as a result of medical emergencies on board, for flight crew training, and for aircraft maintenance purposes. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not keep a record of the length of time involved on each occasion when a military aircraft lands at Shannon Airport.

Name of StateNo. of Landings
Bahrain
2
Belgium
3
Canada
10
China
1
Egypt
2
France
7
Germany
5
Italy
18
Jordan
3
Panama
1
Russia
4
Sweden
2
UAE
2
USA
548
Total
608

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