Thursday, 17 December 2015

Questions (310)

Robert Dowds

Question:

310. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Defence to outline the possibility of developing an aviation museum at Baldonnel Aerodrome in County Dublin, given its long association with the Irish Air Corps and given that the first east-west flight across the Atlantic left from there. [46344/15]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

There is currently a museum situated at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, which contains a collection of aircraft and other aviation-related exhibits which chart the rich history of the Air Corps and aviation in Ireland. The Museum is staffed by volunteers. However security and operational considerations restrict public access, which is by appointment on weekdays only.

Officials in my Department are currently assessing a proposal from the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF) for the development of a new aviation museum/heritage centre at Baldonnel.

While I am in general committed to encouraging enterprise, economic development and initiatives of this nature, the impact of such a development in this location must be carefully considered as Baldonnel is of such strategic importance, being the headquarters of the Irish Air Corps and the only military airfield in the country.

I am also aware that there are a number of other sites being considered for this proposal.