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  • #31
    Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Don't look at Baldonnel without considering Weston. You could easily move the rotary function to Weston, which is being revamped. Weston would bite your hand off for the work. Weston is now owned by a consortium led by one of the Collison brothers. They'd be more than happy to facilitate the Air Corps. Baldonnel is also a "dirty" site and would need remediation to clear out decades of waste buried or drained into certain parts of the Camp. I'd bet if Amazon or Google were offered it, they'd take it in a heart beat. You could move the Learjet to Weston or Dublin Airport, and operate it safely and securely, just like every other business jet in the world. Casas and PC-12s and PC-9s to Shannon or Dublin Airport. Lots of joint Mil/Civil airports worldwide,that operate just fine. You also have to understand that consideration for the welfare of the soldiery is at the bottom of the Govt's list. If a soldier has to be relocated, he/she would get a few token euro as compensation and simply ordered to move. Don't like it, go someplace else. If the DoD wants to get the DF out of Dublin City, it's to hell or to Gormo or all points West or to the Curragh, with a few token locations on the Border.
    Whatever you decide for new locations, particularly for AC, can't have dispersed formations. It only adds to logs, maintenance, command, comms, issues and steps back to legacy problems of having formations spread over many locations. AC should all be in one site, able to deploy detachments for specific tasks as required and also utilise existing infrastructure, eg. ATC, hangerage. all with the provision of being secured for military ops and prioritised as required over commercial interests if co-located.
    Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

    And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

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    • #32
      Originally posted by X-RayOne View Post

      Whatever you decide for new locations, particularly for AC, can't have dispersed formations. It only adds to logs, maintenance, command, comms, issues and steps back to legacy problems of having formations spread over many locations. AC should all be in one site, able to deploy detachments for specific tasks as required and also utilise existing infrastructure, eg. ATC, hangerage. all with the provision of being secured for military ops and prioritised as required over commercial interests if co-located.
      Which brings back to the suggestion of co-locating in Dublin Airport. I remember being greeted by the sight of a Dakota DC3 in Israeli Airforce camo, when leaving Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, in early May 2000, for instance. Along with a couple of modern fighter jets...
      "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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      • #33
        Is Dublin Airport too busy? The earliy morning elephant walk to the runway is a sight to behold. Not seen it an any other International airport. Trying to do routine military movements around such a busy field would have issues. Particularly when you have no other operational base.
        For now, everything hangs on the CoDF report, which is published, but after discussion with parties in government will probably commence being implemented in May or June.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by X-RayOne View Post

          Whatever you decide for new locations, particularly for AC, can't have dispersed formations. It only adds to logs, maintenance, command, comms, issues and steps back to legacy problems of having formations spread over many locations. AC should all be in one site, able to deploy detachments for specific tasks as required and also utilise existing infrastructure, eg. ATC, hangerage. all with the provision of being secured for military ops and prioritised as required over commercial interests if co-located.
          That is true, to a very great extent as it avoids needless duplication but Baldonnel is effectively being boxed in (so too is Weston, but it has less scope for big aircraft and more room to get clear of, in an emergency) by the day and God help them if there is an crash or serious accident anywhere nearby. Baldonnel doesn't have the sanitised approaches that Dublin has. Aircraft like the Learjet and PC-12s could operate out of Dublin effortlessly,as their civilian colleagues do every day of the week. Remember, Dublin will have three runways in operation shortly. You don't need cumbersome military bureaucracies to operate aircraft like Learjets and PC-12s. They have been operated for decades by lean organisations and are designed for that kind of operation. As for armed aircraft like the PC-9, obviously that requires security and so on but that's well within the grasp of the AC and our State and local airports are easy to guard, if you need to. I think the pressure is on for Baldonnel to be closed especially if the Googles or Amazons turn up with big chequebooks. You've seen how quickly they are building that centre beside Baldonnel. they could easily duplicate it inside the fence in a matter of months. I suspect the Govt would token moan a bit but would take the cash when offered and the Donners would have to shift.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post

            That is true, to a very great extent as it avoids needless duplication but Baldonnel is effectively being boxed in (so too is Weston, but it has less scope for big aircraft and more room to get clear of, in an emergency) by the day and God help them if there is an crash or serious accident anywhere nearby. Baldonnel doesn't have the sanitised approaches that Dublin has. Aircraft like the Learjet and PC-12s could operate out of Dublin effortlessly,as their civilian colleagues do every day of the week. Remember, Dublin will have three runways in operation shortly. You don't need cumbersome military bureaucracies to operate aircraft like Learjets and PC-12s. They have been operated for decades by lean organisations and are designed for that kind of operation. As for armed aircraft like the PC-9, obviously that requires security and so on but that's well within the grasp of the AC and our State and local airports are easy to guard, if you need to. I think the pressure is on for Baldonnel to be closed especially if the Googles or Amazons turn up with big chequebooks. You've seen how quickly they are building that centre beside Baldonnel. they could easily duplicate it inside the fence in a matter of months. I suspect the Govt would token moan a bit but would take the cash when offered and the Donners would have to shift.
            Not a lot of room for more hangars, ramp space, offices, Accomodiation etc in Dublin

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            • #36
              Lots of ramp space for smaller aircraft and more coming, as well as hangarage and space for offices and so on. DAA is planning to massively increase the covered footprint airside and one Learjet and four PC-12s could easily be accommodated. On any day or night, not all the ramp space and hangarage is fully taken up. An airport that is full and busy at 9 am is half empty at 11 am. Airports ebb and flow,by their nature, so a few business jet sized aircraft can easily be fitted in. Hangarage is also a fluid item; need a corner under an A330's wing for two days? no problem. Need to store tools,kit and spare tyres? No problem. it happens all day, every day at all of our airports and is quite seamless. The DF in general and the AC in particular have a lot of corporate experience is using Dublin and are well versed in how to operate securely. If you want weapons security, it's not that hard to cordon off an area, provide local armed manpower and keep an aircraft thoroughly secure. This stuff is entirely doable. The notion that the AC is so utterly different than all the world's air arms, that it can't coexist with civilian aviation, is nonsense.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                Lots of ramp space for smaller aircraft and more coming, as well as hangarage and space for offices and so on. DAA is planning to massively increase the covered footprint airside and one Learjet and four PC-12s could easily be accommodated. On any day or night, not all the ramp space and hangarage is fully taken up. An airport that is full and busy at 9 am is half empty at 11 am. Airports ebb and flow,by their nature, so a few business jet sized aircraft can easily be fitted in. Hangarage is also a fluid item; need a corner under an A330's wing for two days? no problem. Need to store tools,kit and spare tyres? No problem. it happens all day, every day at all of our airports and is quite seamless. The DF in general and the AC in particular have a lot of corporate experience is using Dublin and are well versed in how to operate securely. If you want weapons security, it's not that hard to cordon off an area, provide local armed manpower and keep an aircraft thoroughly secure. This stuff is entirely doable. The notion that the AC is so utterly different than all the world's air arms, that it can't coexist with civilian aviation, is nonsense.
                Surely dedicated AC space would be required

                are we not talking about moving the whole AC to Dublin Airport

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                • #38
                  Historically, barracks, naval bases, and military airfields were built in appropriate locations. In on going management it was the duty off the State to ensure that units and locations were free to operate and carry out their functions. The psyche that applies in all Departments is that any asset can be dispatched to oblivion or to a change of use overnight. Worst hit are units with only one location such as the Air Corps and the Naval Service. The former at Baldonnel is getting hemmed in but whose fault is that , and how will they handle future security, VIP, and Military movement flights. The Naval Base is now being hemmed in by expansion of the shift to seaward of Cork port and is lessening the manoeuvring options in Ringaskiddy Bay. Somewhere in DFR's and Statutory Instruments their are probably regulations governing trespass on or near Military lands. It seems the mandarins have no regard for the worth of a PDF or those that assume the task.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by DeV View Post

                    Surely dedicated AC space would be required

                    are we not talking about moving the whole AC to Dublin Airport
                    The way I see it, you can fundamentally base helicopters anywhere. Fixed wing aircraft,by needing a decent, secure runway, can also be based on any of the nine commercial airports in the State. None of the current types are so special that they need special treatment with the exception of the ejection seats in the PC-9s and the need to fit weapons, now and then. VIPs are routinely catered for in Dublin Airport, as it gives them a short road run to the centres of power,so that's not an issue. You can ring the place with soldiers inside an hour, if you have to. Same with any airport. It already has two police forces on hand. You could keep Baldonnel as an overhaul base and do nothing except the deepest stuff (most of which is done abroad anyway)there. You can farm out the helis anywhere and the Curragh should have immediate access to helis anyway, so base a couple there from the off. It's fundamentally what they are for. Helis and the rest don't have to come back to Baldonnel for the smaller inspections. Personally, I think the AC should have a serious think about it's future at Baldonnel as outside entities will be eyeing it's landbank. They might find themselves shoved out, if they don't get proactive and justify their foothold, in this climate of housing shortages and industrial buying power.

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                    • #40
                      We need to be sure whose side we are on. It seems with the shearing of things like Army Apprentice School, Military Hospitals, SAR, Clancy Barracks, Kildare Barracks, Married Quarters, we are on our way to a paper PDF with the real work being done by CHC, Garda, Media, Lobbyists, on the Island and NATO and the Russians elsewhere. The reason for Military airports is freedom of action and continuous priority for training and operations. ALL PDF need full control of their assets at all times.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                        We need to be sure whose side we are on. It seems with the shearing of things like Army Apprentice School, Military Hospitals, SAR, Clancy Barracks, Kildare Barracks, Married Quarters, we are on our way to a paper PDF with the real work being done by CHC, Garda, Media, Lobbyists, on the Island and NATO and the Russians elsewhere. The reason for Military airports is freedom of action and continuous priority for training and operations. ALL PDF need full control of their assets at all times.
                        You've got it in one. The DF land and site holdings is being seen as the gift that keeps giving. I said it here before; the DF is being reduced to the status of a gendarmarie and is having it's assets farmed out and nothing given back. No Reserve worth talking about. Im only surprised the DF hasnt been rolled into Civ Def/Coasties before now.

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                        • #42
                          Coasties management is probably about 90% ex naval officers at this stage anyway.
                          For now, everything hangs on the CoDF report, which is published, but after discussion with parties in government will probably commence being implemented in May or June.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                            We need to be sure whose side we are on. It seems with the shearing of things like Army Apprentice School, Military Hospitals, SAR, Clancy Barracks, Kildare Barracks, Married Quarters, we are on our way to a paper PDF with the real work being done by CHC, Garda, Media, Lobbyists, on the Island and NATO and the Russians elsewhere. The reason for Military airports is freedom of action and continuous priority for training and operations. ALL PDF need full control of their assets at all times.
                            Argument can be made that contracting out anything that isn’t military (as in Defence of the State (and overseas)) allows the DF to concentrate on that.

                            not that I’m advocating it

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post

                              The way I see it, you can fundamentally base helicopters anywhere. Fixed wing aircraft,by needing a decent, secure runway, can also be based on any of the nine commercial airports in the State. None of the current types are so special that they need special treatment with the exception of the ejection seats in the PC-9s and the need to fit weapons, now and then. VIPs are routinely catered for in Dublin Airport, as it gives them a short road run to the centres of power,so that's not an issue. You can ring the place with soldiers inside an hour, if you have to. Same with any airport. It already has two police forces on hand. You could keep Baldonnel as an overhaul base and do nothing except the deepest stuff (most of which is done abroad anyway)there. You can farm out the helis anywhere and the Curragh should have immediate access to helis anyway, so base a couple there from the off. It's fundamentally what they are for. Helis and the rest don't have to come back to Baldonnel for the smaller inspections. Personally, I think the AC should have a serious think about it's future at Baldonnel as outside entities will be eyeing it's landbank. They might find themselves shoved out, if they don't get proactive and justify their foothold, in this climate of housing shortages and industrial buying power.
                              I’d assume (maybe incorrectly) that much existing built infrastructure in Dublin Airport is in use and therefore would not be available.

                              Assuming it is and the Dublin Aerospace, Aer Lingus (is that the building to East of DA?) aren’t moving, the only real areas available to build on currently are to the North (between the new runway and Naul Road) or South (between the Southern runway and Old Airport Road/R108).

                              other that that it would be buying private land and would need to include rerouting roads.

                              nothing saying it’s an insurmountable issue of course

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                              • #45
                                in effect, the future (and publicised plan) for Dublin Airport is for hard stands, offices and hangarage on the Western footprint of the airport between the two main runways. there are persistent rumours that some of the old hangarage will be knocked and tenants moved Westward. A lot of the rerouting of old roads and laying of new roads has been done. As for usage, a lot of usage is effectively temporary, ie, park for a day or two and go off again. The kind of very long term parking that you see in Shannon is not really a thing in Dublin Airport.

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