Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (48)

Finian McGrath

Question:

48. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of foreign military planes landing at Shannon Airport which is in clear breach of our neutral status. [45368/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952 gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs primary responsibility for the regulation of activity by foreign military aircraft in Ireland. Permission to land at Irish airports, including Shannon Airport, is subject to the condition that the aircraft are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives, do not engage in intelligence gathering, and that the flights in question do not form any part of military exercises or operations. There is no incompatibility between such landings and Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality, which is characterised by non-participation in military alliances.

I refer the Deputy to Question 56 of 6 March 2013, and to Questions 6 and 9 of 15 October 2013, which provide information on the number of foreign military aircraft for which permission was sought to land at Shannon Airport in 2012 and 2013.