Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Coast Guard Service

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

42. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of purchase, installation and training in respect of the introduction of night vision technology to the CHC fleet by the Irish Coast Guard. [23554/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Night Vision goggles were purchased and the 5 helicopters equipped to enable NVIS operations to take place. The costs related to this are in the region of €4m. Training of aircrew is underway. €1.7m has been paid to date towards this training.

The ability to conduct operations with the aid of Night Vision Goggles (NVG’s) brings an enhanced operational safety and situational awareness capability to Search and Rescue Helicopter Crews. This enhanced capability offers significant operational improvements for both SAR and HEMS operations. No other civil operator has introduced this capability in Ireland and it is a first for the regulator, the Irish Aviation Authority.

While the introduction was foreseen as a possibility at the outset of the contract, it was not included in the original requirement. It was intended that the capability would be introduced on a phased basis once funds were available and within safety and operational parameters. Once the equipment was installed, a training programme for all CHC crew was developed by the operator. For a variety of reasons, this programme has been interrupted and delayed, most recently owing to Covid restrictions. Once operational over the coming months, it will be a significant enhancement to the SAR service.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.