Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (113)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


113. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the operational non-pay budget for the Air Corps is less than 2% of the Defence Vote in view of his recent decision to temporarily shut down the helicopter operation in Athlone, County Westmeath. [50343/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Gross provision for the Defence Vote in 2019 is €758 million. This level of funding provides €528.8 million for the pay and allowances of over 10,400 Defence Sector employees, €106 million in capital funding and €123.2 million in non-pay current expenditure, which provides mainly for the ongoing standing, operational and support costs of the Defence Forces.

Defence funding is provided for within one Programme which covers the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. Subhead A.9 is particular to the Air Corps and provides for some specific Air Corps support costs mainly for the upgrade and maintenance of Aircraft Equipment, the purchase of Aircraft Fuel, Specialised Training and Air Operations support services. For 2019, in terms of actual figures, the amount in Subhead A.9 is equivalent to 13.6% of the non-pay current operational allocation within the Defence Vote.

There is no connection of any kind between the recent decision to temporarily adjust the Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) Service and the 2019 non-pay current operational budget provided to this subhead. The interruption to the EAS service provided by the Air Corps, for four days a month for four months, starting last month, was on foot of military advice relating to governance and safety in the Air Corps.