Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (323)

Clare Daly


323. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason he approved the transit through Shannon Airport of an aircraft (details supplied) in view of the fact that its presence at Shannon was in clear breach of international laws of neutrality and in breach of the High Court ruling by Mr. Justice Kearns in Horgan v. An Taoiseach et al, 2003. [44365/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Under the Air Navigation (Carriage of War, Weapons and dangerous Goods) Order 1973, as amended, civil aircraft are prohibited from carrying weapons or munitions over Ireland's sovereign airspace or into Irish airports unless they receive an exemption from the Minister for Transport. In considering such applications, my Department seeks the advice of relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who advise on foreign policy issues. Such measures are fully consistent with Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality, as applied by successive Irish Governments for over 50 years.

In the case of the flights for the aircraft with the registration number N207AX that landed in Shannon Airport on the 9th, 10th, 15th and 17th October munitions of war exemptions were applied for and granted by my Department. The flights on the 11th, 14th and 18th October were technical refuelling stops. No munitions of war exemptions were applied for in respect of these flights. Shannon Airport also confirmed that this Aircraft did not transit through Shannon Airport on either the 13th or 16th of October.

Under the 1944 International Air Services Transit Agreement, civil aircraft transiting or carrying out non-traffic stops within the sovereign territories of the parties to this Agreement do not normally require any additional authorisations or exemptions.

Both Ireland and the United States are party to this Agreement.