Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (578)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

578. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of the bilateral agreement between Ireland and the United States of America by which the State pays for the air traffic control costs for US military flights through Irish air space; the cost of the agreement in each of the years 2003 to 2015 including payment to Eurocontrol of €42,344,000; the estimated cost for the period 1 January 2016 to 30 November 2019; the estimated annual cost of the bilateral agreement since it commenced to 31 December 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52746/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

In common with all other EU Member States, Ireland’s en route air traffic management (ATM) fees are set in accordance with EU Single European Sky legislation and through the State's membership of the intergovernmental European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), which coordinates European ATM on behalf of the EU.

As part of a EUROCONTROL multilateral agreement - to which Ireland along with other Member States is a party - various categories of flights, including Search and Rescue flights, training flights and military flights, may be exempted from paying en route fees.

While the State's air navigation service provider - the Irish Aviation Authority - is reimbursed for any ATM services it provides to exempted flights, my Department does not record a breakdown of these reimbursements by flight category. However, the total reimbursement for exempted flights for each of the years requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table.

Year

Millions

2002

1.4

2003

2.8

2004

3.7

2005

3.2

2006

2.5

2007

3.1

2008

3.0

2009

3.3

2010

2.9

2011

2.9

2012

2.6

2013

2.3

2014

2.4

2015

2.5

2016

2.6

2017

2.3

2018

2.0