A feared loss of Waterford’s Rescue 117 helicopter base has prompted TDs and Senators from the south-east to seek an urgent meeting with the Minister for Transport.
Oireachtas members from every south-east county met on Tuesday morning in a “constructive meeting” regarding the search and rescue service, where it was agreed that they would next seek a meeting with Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton.
Concern over the base’s future comes as a new tender for the Irish Coast Guard aviation service references “a minimum” of three helicopter bases – instead of the current four operating in Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford.
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Good to see this joint united front here it will help. Anyone wondering why there is so much hostility towards the government in Waterford this is a prime example of what is going on across all sectors from Health, Education, Infrastructure its a death by a thousand cuts!
'Oireachtas members from every south-east county met ..'
Reading this really gladden my heart. If only they could do this for other areas, the South East would be thriving.
The only fear I would have is there could be a grab and suddenly the rescue service is in Kilkenny or Wexford as has happened in other situations!!!!
I'd see it most likely going to Wexford if it moves at all. Close to Rosslare etc etc.
Doubt there going to build a new base anywhere in the SE, most likely go to Cork, precursor to closing the airport. 117 was the only saving grace, airport hasn't been included in any funding so I'd say its a done deal behind the scenes. No extension on the runway either.
Not a chance it moves to Rosslare, flying direct from Wat airport to Rosslare is no time.
If it was to move anywhere it would be Cork, apron, runway, ATC, operations and firecrews already available just like WAT.
Moving to Wex would require construction of some sort of runway, apron, navigational aids, hanger, fuel storage, purchase of fire appliances etc...
This service will remain in an airport and hopefully that airport is WAT
Is An Bord Pleanala accountable for anything its almost 1 year overdue since the expected decision date on the runway! It all just seems a coherent plan to finally finish of WAT
Coast Guard tender to be amended to maintain current number of search and rescue bases.
THE DEPARTMENT OF Transport has said it will amend the details of a tender for a new Coast Guard Aviation Service contract following fears the number of bases could reduce.
The issue was raised in the Oireachtas last week. Senator John Cummins said there had been “a considerable amount of speculation and an understandable concern” in the south east that the Waterford base would be lost.
The R117 rescue helicopter is based in Waterford.
The Department said today that its Pre-Qualification Questionnaire on the contract will be amended to specify the existing number and location of the current Search and Rescue bases.
Sense at last! Although you would have to wonder why this was allowed to happen in the first place, surely from day dot if should have stated, "a minimum of four bases
its clearly obvious though, somebody doesnt want four bases, this will probably rare its head again!
Civil servant with an agenda trying to get it through, government only back tracked when the TDs and public started to demand 4 bases.
...or is the contractor trying to reduce their running costs, therefore increasing their profits?
Could also be this but there is no accountability in the civil service so we will never know the real reason.