Written Answers. - Foreign Military Aircraft.

Dan Boyle

Question:

201 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if recent permission has been sought or given for the transit of foreign military personnel at Irish airports, other than Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2956/03]

In accordance with the provisions of the Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952, permission has been granted for foreign military aircraft to land at Dublin Airport on six occasions since 1 January 2003. The countries concerned were Canada, Croatia, France and the United States of America.

John Gormley

Question:

202 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the 17 countries which have been given blanket permission for the overflight of military aircraft on condition that they give his Department advance notice of the details of each flight; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2976/03]

The following countries have been granted blanket clearance for the overflight of military aircraft on the condition that they give my Department advance notice of the details of each flight and that the relevant aircraft are unarmed and carry no arms, ammunition or explosives and do not engage in intelligence gathering: Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Luxembourg, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The specific arrangements that apply to the US regarding military overflights were set out in my statement to Dáil Éireann of 29 January last.

John Gormley

Question:

203 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if there has been an updating of the 1959 definition of cargo on military aircraft which was agreed between his Department and the US Embassy in 1959 as meaning support supplies, for example, food, clothing and household equipment; if not, if his Department is intending to do such an update; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2977/03]

John Gormley

Question:

204 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the intervals at which the US Embassy provides post hoc statistics to his Department regarding overflights of Ireland by US military aircraft; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2978/03]

John Gormley

Question:

205 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the date on which officials from his Department reminded the US authorities, as referred to in his speech to Dáil Éireann on 29 January 2003, that advance permission must be sought for every US military flight not meeting the usual conditions of carrying no arms, ammunition, explosives, photographic or intelligence gathering equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2979/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 to 205, inclusive, together.

The Deputy will be aware of my statement to Dáil Éireann of 29 January 2003 which provided a clear and comprehensive account of arrangements to allow for access to Shannon Airport by transiting US military aircraft and personnel.

In my statement, I confirmed that I initiated steps to improve the implementation of these arrangements last September. It is in this overall context that improvements were introduced with the full co-operation of the US authorities.

The arrangements agreed with the US in 1959 regarding overflights by US military aircraft remain applicable. No changes to the definition of cargo are currently envisaged.Post hoc statistics of overflights are regularly provided to my Department by the US authorities on a month-by-month basis.