Written Answers. - Government Jet.

Dinny McGinley

Ceist:

184 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Defence the date of purchase of the present Government jet; the date it became operational in the service of the Government; how much it cost; the number of hours it has flown since then; the details of all breakdowns; if there are plans to carry out a major overhaul; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2953/03]

The Gulfstream IV aircraft was leased for a period of ten years from 19 December 1991 to 19 December 2001 for use as a ministerial air transport aircraft. The lease contained a purchase option which was exercised at the termination of the lease period. The total cost of the aircraft including the purchase option came to €45 million approximately.

Since the aircraft was acquired in December 1991 it has flown a total of approximately 8,400 hours. The following table sets out the mission requests and missions completed in 2000 to 2002:

Year

Mission Requests

Missions Completed

% Availability

%

2000

152

146

96.05

2001

124

120

96.77

2002

135

134

99.26

There were 11 specific missions which were not completed by the Gulfstream IV due to unscheduled non-availability of the aircraft. Specific details for the period prior to 2000 are not retained on this issue.
The aircraft completes an annual maintenance inspection at a manufacturer's approved maintenance facility. A 72 month maintenance inspection will take place this summer. This is routine maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance schedule.