Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (65)

Maureen O'Sullivan


65. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Ireland has understandings or agreements with foreign countries regarding aerial defence in situations in which aircraft intrusion is used as a way of compensating for lack of jet aircraft within the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53014/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952 specifies that all foreign aircraft seeking to overfly Irish sovereign airspace or land in the State must request the permission of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Specific criteria with regards to the granting of such permission have been put in place by successive Governments and include that the aircraft be unarmed, carries no arms, ammunition or explosives. In addition, such craft must not form any part of a military operation or exercise.

I cannot comment on national security or defence arrangements. I can, however, reiterate that the Government’s engagement in international security cooperation is conducted with full respect for Irish sovereign decision making authority and Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality which is characterised by non-participation in military alliances.