Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 16 Nov 1961

Vol. 192 No. 3

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Air Corps Jets.


andMr. McQuillan asked the Minister for Defence how many vampire jets have been purchased for the Air Corps, the date of purchase of each and the individual cost, the total cost of maintenance of each including spare parts, service, petrol, etc., and the cost of providing the runways at Baldonnel to accommodate this type of aircraft, including purchase price of land, and construction costs, etc.

Six Vampire jet aircraft have been purchased. The date of delivery and the cost of each was as follows:—


20 Iúil, 1956



20 Iúil, 1956



20 Iúil, 1956



18 Eanáir, 1961



16 Márta, 1961



16 Márta, 1961


It is not possible from records to furnish the cost of maintenance of each aircraft to date. The total cost of stores, including spare engines, tools, ground equipment and engine overhauls, to date is £67,843, and the cost of jet fuel and oil is £28,321. Military labour only is employed on the maintenance of these aircraft.

The total cost of construction of the concrete runways at Baile Dhomhnaill was £493,016, including contract, acquisition of land and incidental works. The concrete runways were not, however, specially constructed for jet aircraft. They were provided so as to enable all Aer Chór aircraft to use the Aerodome all the year round which would not be possible with grass runways.

Is the total of all that about £1,000,000?

It is short of £1,000,000.

About £780,000?

About £750,000.

No, it is more.

Does the Minister consider that investment was a reasonable one, in view of the fact that the object was the training of pilots for Aer Lingus at a later stage? In view of the fact that Aer Lingus have now embarked on a different scheme for training their pilots, would the Minister not agree that spending almost £1,000,000 on what has proved to be a waste was a tragedy, particularly in view of the fact that we cannot spend £200,000 on the purchase of helicopters to save lives?

They are not confined to stormy weather.

The Minister will be facing stormy weather very shortly.

But it will not be in a helicopter, I hope.