Irish government seeks tenders for charter flights to deport people

Irish government seeks tenders for charter flights to deport people

THE Irish government has opened a tender process to secure charter flight services to allow them to deport people who do not have permission to remain in the country.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has welcomed the opening of the tender round for a charter service, which would allow them to undertake group deportations without the need to use commercial flights.

“I am committed to ensuring the State’s immigration processes are robust, effective, and fair,” Minister McEntee said as the tender application window opened yesterday.

“The capacity of deportation and return processes are essential elements of any immigration system,” she explained.

“With a major increase in the number of decisions issuing on International Protection cases it is now time to increase our capacity to remove people from the State whose applications have been refused and who do not have permission to remain in the State.

"A charter service will increase our options in this regard."

Minister McEntee added: “Providing access to charter flights will be a useful additional operational and enforcement resource for An Garda Síochána when the use of commercial carriers is not appropriate.

"Subject to the successful completion of the tender process and other relevant arrangements, I intend to see charter flights operational by the end of the year.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee

A request for tender has been published on the Irish government’s e-Tenders website “with a view to procuring a suitable provider of charter flight services and relevant supporting services such as ground support, catering and, when required medical assistance, for passengers”, Ms McEntee’s department explains.

Prospective service providers have until July 17, 2024 to submit their proposals.

“Providing access to charter flights is just one of the measures I am introducing to support An Garda Síochána in their duties to enforce our immigration laws,” Minister McEntee added.

“Nationwide, over 100 Gardaí are assigned to immigration duties,' she explained.

"Reducing administrative tasks and providing additional resources, releases valuable Garda hours to focus on operational and enforcement matters, such as deportations and investigations.”