Written Answers. - Air Services.

Joe Sherlock

Question:

167 Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport the discussions he has had with the British authorities regarding their plan to place armed security personnel on British operated flights to or from Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2757/03]

My Department is having discussions with the relevant UK authorities concerning the announcement by the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Alastair Darling, that a capability has been developed by the UK authorities to allow for the use of specially trained armed police officers on UK flights, as part of an ongoing series of measures to tackle terrorist threats to UK aircraft.

The deployment by the UK authorities of any such personnel on aircraft operated by UK licensed carriers on UK-Ireland routes will be subject to agreement with my Department taking into account the requirements of other relevant agencies.