Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
Question 152: To ask the Minister for Transport the number of US troops bound for Afghanistan who have passed through Shannon Airport to date in 2009; if he anticipates an increase in numbers in view of the recent announcement by the US administration of the deployment of more troops in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46196/09]
Noel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
The Department of Transport does not collate information with regard to the number of military troops onboard civilian aircraft. However I am informed by the Shannon Airport Authority that some 243,000 US troops have passed through Shannon Airport in 2009 to date. My Department does not have information on the final destination of US soldiers on civilian aircraft that have stopped at Shannon Airport.
It is a matter for the carriers concerned as to where they choose to make a transit stop. It is not possible to say if the US administration’s recent announcement will have any impact on numbers of troops transiting through Shannon.