Dáil Éireann - Volume 446 - 02 November, 1994

Written Answers. - Ministerial Transport.

29. Mr. E. Byrne asked the Minister for Defence if the Air Corps Government jet flew from Zurich to Dublin on 13 October 1994; the passengers who flew on the plane; the purpose of the journey; from where the plane flew to Zurich; the passengers, if any, carried on the journey; the total cost of the flights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2618/94]

Minister for Defence (Mr. Andrews): I dealt comprehensively with this issue on the Adjournment debate last Thursday, 27 October 1994, and have a separate question for answer today on the cost of operating the aircraft. I would refer the Deputy to that debate and to the reply to that question.

I would also like to correct an error in the statistics used by Deputy Byrne on Thursday.

The Air Corps flew a total of 9,854 hours in 1993 and not 4,936 as stated by the Deputy. Based on the correct figures (1,035 out of 9,854) the percentage of time spent on ministerial transport was 10 per cent as against the 21 per cent claimed by the Deputy.

When one considers that the Gulfstream IV, which was acquired for and is dedicated to ministerial transport, accounts for almost 800 of the 1,035 hours flown on such transport it is clear [1488] that this service does not impact on other Air Corps flying operations.