Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (105)

Niall Collins

Question:

105. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the occasions on which he and each Minister used the Government jet from May 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the date of each trip; the location and purpose of each trip; the costs incurred in respect of the use of the aircraft for each trip in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52045/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Ministerial Air Transport Service provides the Government and the President with an independent and flexible air transport service to assist in meeting national and international obligations.

Requests for the use of the service are made to the Taoiseach’s office where they are examined with regard to the need and purpose of travel. Once approved all operational matters are settled directly between the Minister in question and my Department.

Information in relation to Ministerial Air Transport flights is publically available via a link entitled "Routinely Published Information" on the Department of Defence website where it is updated on a monthly basis: www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-defence/.

My Department does not hold details in relation to the purpose of other Minister's Ministerial Air Transport Service travel. However, in relation to my usage of the Ministerial Air Transport Service in my capacity as Minister with responsibility for Defence, the table below outlines the details of travel undertaken and the purpose of the travel in the period referred to by the Deputy.

Departure Date

Return Date

Ministerial Time on Board (Minutes)

Route

Department

Passengers

Purpose

21/12/2017

23/12/2017

735

Baldonnel - Naples - Beirut - Naples - Baldonnel

Taoiseach/ Defence

Taoiseach, MoS plus 5

Visit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)

10/07/2018

12/07/2018

485

Baldonnel - Pristina - Sarajevo - Baldonnel

Defence

MoS plus 5

Visit to Irish Troops in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina

30/01/2019

30/01/2019

255

Baldonnel - Bucharest - Baldonnel

Defence

MoS plus 3

Informal Meeting of the EU Defence Ministers