Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (100, 101)

John Deasy

Question:

212 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Defence the arrangements to maintain and service Garda helicopters by Air Corps personnel. [2544/04]

View answer

John Deasy

Question:

213 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Defence if the Air Corps has the professional expertise and necessary manpower to effectively maintain and service two Garda helicopters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2545/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 212 and 213 together.

At present the Garda Air Support Unit comprises one twin engined AS355N Squirrel helicopter, one Defender 4000 fixed wing aircraft and one twin engined EC135 helicopter. Air Corps personnel are responsible for all matters relating to the servicing and maintenance of the Squirrel helicopter and the Defender 4000. I am satisfied that it has the necessary expertise and manpower to effectively maintain and service these aircraft. McAlpine Helicopters Limited has been awarded the contract for the maintenance of the EC135 helicopter.