Written answers

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Military Aircraft Landings

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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147. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade how far in advance requests for military aircraft to land or overfly Irish airspace are required; and if assurances are sought or given on every single occasion they are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives, do not engage in intelligence gathering, and where the flights in question do not form any part of military exercises or operations. [31164/14]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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148. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to the Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952, which provides that every foreign military aircraft flying over or landing in the State on the express invitation or with the express permission of the Minister shall comply with such stipulations as the Minister may make in relation to such aircraft, not as he has stated many times that they must be unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives, do not engage in intelligence gathering, and where the flights in question do not form any part of military exercises or operations, if these stipulations have been made and when they were put in place. [31165/14]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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149. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason aircraft of the Egyptian authorities landed at Shannon Airport four times in the past 12 months. [31173/14]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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150. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 152 of 8 July 2014 and 99 of 1 July 2014, the number of occasions on which each country of origin military aircraft sought permission to overfly Irish airspace at Shannon. [31174/14]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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151. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 152 of 8 July and 99 of 1 July 2014, the reason for the discrepancies between the lists of countries given in the replies, as both deal with countries which have sought permission to land military aircraft over the past 12 months. [31182/14]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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157. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of occasions for each country of origin on which permission was refused for military aircraft to land at Shannon in the past 12 months. [31624/14]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 to 151, inclusive, and 157 together.

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 exercising this responsibility, successive Ministers have stipulated that permission for the landing of foreign military aircraft at Shannon airport may be granted subject to the conditions that apply to all overflights and landings 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. These conditions are strictly applied.

Countries are asked to submit their requests two days in advance of the entry of aircraft into Irish airspace. It is not the practice to divulge information relation to the specific purposes of individual landings. However, in the vast majority of cases, military aircraft use 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 land 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 list of countries provided in reply to Question No. 99 of 1 July referred to aircraft which had landed at Shannon as well as overflights in Irish airspace. The list of countries provided in reply to Question No. 152 of 8 July refers only to landings at Shannon airport.Permission for a landing by a military aircraft at Shannon airport was refused on one occasion in the past 12 months and on the basis that the request did not meet with the normal conditions that apply to landings at Irish airports by foreign military aircraft.

Details of the overflights in Irish airspace during the past 12 months are set out in the following table.

COUNTRY TOTAL
AUSTRALIA1
BELGIUM36
CANADA20
COLOMBIA1
COTE D'IVORE1
CZECH REPUBLIC7
DENMARK3
DJIBOUTI1
EGYPT19
FRANCE55
GABON2
GERMANY29
GREECE4
INDIA3
ISRAEL1
ITALY21
JAPAN1
JORDAN20
LEBANON2
LIBYA1
MALAYSIA2
MEXICO5
MOROCCO2
NETHERLANDS74
NEW ZEALAND1
OMAN4
PAKISTAN4
PANAMA2
QATAR4
ROMANIA1
SWEDEN8
SWITZERLAND4
UAE1
UK8
USA1194
VIETNAM3
YEMEN1
Total1546

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