Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (146)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

146. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department or another Department authorised a British RAF fighter jet (details supplied) to fly over Irish sovereign territory on 19 November 2019; if so the reason therefor; and if the aircraft was carrying weapons and ammunition. [48916/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952, made under the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1946, gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs primary responsibility for the regulation of activity by foreign military aircraft in Ireland. Successive Ministers for Foreign Affairs have put in place strict conditions which must be satisfied before permission to overfly the territory of the State may be granted.

Thorough and robust procedures are in place in my Department with a view to ensuring that the conditions for securing permission for foreign military aircraft to overfly the State are clearly understood and properly applied.  These procedures are kept under ongoing review.  Comprehensive records on requests received and decisions made are retained for the purposes of monitoring and oversight, and are drawn on as needed including to provide information to this House as appropriate. 

My Department did not receive any requests to approve an overflight by the British military aircraft detailed during the period in question. The Department has also consulted the Irish Aviation Authority who have confirmed that they have no record of such a flight in Irish sovereign airspace on that date.