Thursday, 10 September 2020

Ceisteanna (101)

Gerald Nash


101. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Defence if an arrangement is in place with the Royal Air Force to police Irish airspace in order to intercept aircraft in the flight information region shared by both states; if such an agreement is in place, the person or body that conducted the negotiations with the RAF; if there was input from the Defence Forces in negotiations; if he is satisfied that the arrangement in place is not in conflict with Bunreacht na hÉireann; if such an agreement is in place, if it will be reviewed with a view to establishing a formal RAF-Air Corps all-Ireland joint air policing mission in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23029/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

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, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, 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.

In discharging the fundamental responsibilities of the Executive as set out in the Constitution, the Government’s engagement in international security cooperation is aimed at ensuring public safety and is conducted with full respect for Irish sovereign decision-making authority and for Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality.