Written Answers. - Air Services.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

124 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport the number of flights, broken down by nationality, in respect of which he issued an exemption from the prohibition on the carrying of weapons or munitions in respect of November and December 2002 and January 2003; the number of such exemptions issued after the flights had landed and departed; the number of applications refused; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2750/03]

In November 2002, two exemptions from the prohibition on the carrying of weapons or munitions were granted to a British registered airline. In December 2002, three such exemptions were granted. Two of those exemptions were to a British registered airline and one exemption was to an Irish airline. The number of exemptions granted for the whole of January 2003 was 44. Some 39 of these were granted to American registered airlines, three to Swiss registered and two to British registered airlines. No applications for exemptions have been refused in the three months referred to by the Deputy.

I am aware that two flights by an American registered airline carrying troops and their weapons did land at Shannon, before an exemption was granted. The airline in question was informed that the consultation procedure for their proposed flights was not yet complete. My Department learned the next day that the flights proceeded without exemptions. While this is a breach of regulations, and the airline in question has been reminded of the need to comply with Irish law, it should be noted that the flights in question did in fact comply with requirements, and an exemption under the regulations would have been recommended to the Minister in due course.

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 91.

Question No. 126 answered with Question No. 121.

Question No. 127 answered with Question No. 122.

Question No. 128 answered with Question No. 90.

Question No. 129 answered with Question No. 98.