Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (197, 198)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

200 Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Defence if the emergency air ambulance service, originally operating from Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath will return to the barracks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34039/12]

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Denis Naughten

Question:

201 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Defence further to the topical issue of 20 June 2012 if he has received a report regarding the cause of the accident the implications, if any, for the operation of the service; the reason the interim service is operating out of Baldonnell aerodrome and when it is planned to re-establish the service in Athlone, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34183/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 200 and 201 together.

A heavy landing incident involving the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) helicopter occurred on 19th June 2012. The Air Accident Investigation Unit in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is leading an investigation into the incident and this investigation is ongoing.

On 3 July 2012, the Air Corps resumed the EAS service using an AW 139 aircraft operating out of Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. At this stage, it is not possible to say when the service will resume from Custume Barracks, Athlone. The Air Corps will keep the situation under review having regard to its operational commitments.