658. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when additional air traffic controllers and Air Corps pilots will be recruited for Baldonnel Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8430/17 asked on 21 Feb 2017)
Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Currently in the Air Corps there are 28 cadets, in 3 classes, undergoing the various stages of the Air Corps cadetship to become pilots. There are currently 8 Air Corps cadets in the final stages of their training with commissioning of these cadets likely to take place in Quarter 4 of this year. In addition, a Cadet Recruitment campaign is due to commence in the coming weeks, with a view to the commencement of training in September 2017. Four personnel will complete their Air Traffic Control training between May and September this year. The Air Corps is currently inducting a further Air Traffic Control Course, and it is anticipated that up to eight (8) will be selected for training, with the aim of qualifying in May 2018 and May 2019. A new NCO promotion competition, to fill the ranks of Sergeants and above, including those in the Air Corps, has been launched.