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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 22 Nov 1989

Vol. 393 No. 5

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Jet for Ministerial Travel.


asked the Minister for Defence if it is intended to acquire an additional jet by the Air Corps for ministerial travel; the estimated cost of such an acquisition; the purposes for which the jet will be used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


asked the Minister for Defence if a recent report that the Air Corps is to acquire a second Government jet is correct; if so, when it will be delivered; and the anticipated cost.


asked the Minister for Defence the length of time for which the Air Corps have operated the Government executive jet; when it is proposed to replace it; the type and seating capacity of the new jet; when it will be operational; the approximate gross and net cost of its acquisition; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 21 and 27 together.

The question of leasing a jet aircraft for the six months of the Irish Presidency of the European Community is under consideration. The Air Corps have operated an executive jet aircraft since 1979 and there are no plans to replace the existing jet aircraft.

If the Minister looks at the question in the name of Deputy Mac Giolla he will see that the question asks what is the estimated cost of such an acquisition and the purposes for which it will be used. Perhaps the Minister would address those aspects of the question to which we are seeking answers.

Wait now, Deputy. This is a matter that is being currently examined but we have not come to any finality in regard to a decision. It is obvious that there is need for leasing a further jet aircraft during the six months period of the Irish Presidency from 1 January next. That is self-evident. That is all I can state at the moment.

There is no objection in principle to that. One of the considerations that would have to be drawn into evaluating the whole project——

That is being done at the moment.

——is the extent and use to which it will be put and the cost to the Exchequer — to the taxpayer. Surely the Minister, at this stage, has some indication, from the preliminary investigation, as to where this is leading to.

I agree half-way with the Deputy. It is a very valid question and one that can be answered but at the moment we are considering the various options open to us in this regard. At a later stage, if the Deputy wishes to put down a question, he may, but at the moment that is a matter that is being considered and it would be premature to make any announcement as to costs.

He could not find an extra week's pay for the soldiers at the Christmas period.