26 locations nationwide
Kilkenny's designated Coast Guard helicopter landing site at night time is Kilkenny College, it has been revealed.
Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Transport for the number and location of designated sites across the country in which the Coast Guard helicopter can land in the hours of darkness.
Minister Shane Ross said: “The Coast Guard Helicopter service is provided under contract to my Department by CHC Ireland DAC. The primary role of the service is maritime Search and Rescue.
“Helicopter services are also made available to the Health Service Executive for HEMS(Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) flights on an as available basis.
“Under regulations governing the conduct of Search and Rescue missions the Helicopter Commander can exercise discretion in determining the suitability of a ‘Landing Site’ during both day and night operations.
“This decision is based on an assessment of site suitability, risk, requirements of the casualty and safety of the general public.
“For all other missions, including HEMS flights, Coast Guard Helicopters may use specific surveyed landing sites. These sites are further categorised as ‘Day Only’ or ‘Day/Night’. Currently 26 sites are designated as night time sites in the CHC Ireland landing site directory.
“Suitability and classification of sites are determined by site surveys which are conducted on behalf of the operator of the Coast Guard helicopter service.”
There are 26 site locations across the country and Kilkenny's is at Kilkenny College.