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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 10 August, 2020
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Concerns raised over US troop flights into Shannon after plane arrives from army base in Tennessee

Flight OY-545 arrived at Shannon Airport this morning from Fort Campbell in Tennessee

An Omni Air International plane.
An Omni Air International plane.
Image: Bayne Stanley/PA Images

CONCERNS HAVE BEEN raised about US troop flights stopping in Shannon Airport due to the prevalence of Covid-19 in the United States.   

Omni Air International flight OY-545 arrived at Shannon Airport this morning from Fort Campbell in Tennessee after previously departing from Fort Worth in Texas. 

Civilian airline Omni Air International transports troops for the US military and is largest carrier of military personnel through Shannon.

A group which regularly protests the use of Shannon Airport by the US military says it has been raising additional concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Yesterday, the United States recorded 67,632 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, a new high for the country. 

“This is something we raised at the start of the pandemic, that it was adding another layer of danger to the whole issue around troops,” Shannonwatch spokesperson John Lannon told TheJournal.ie.

We’ve got some assurances. We were told some time back that the troops would not be disembarking from the planes but we haven’t got what we would say are categorical assurances that that is the case.

“There are going to be interactions, there are service people and so on, even if the entire two or three hundred who may be on board don’t get off,” Lannon added.

He said that before the pandemic local people would be aware of troops passing through Shannon who may spend time overnight in the area. 

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In March, the US Department of Defense issued a 60-day stop movement order which aimed to stop the movement of troops and their families abroad. This has now been phased out and replaced with regional restrictions

Shannon Airport has implemented a range of safety measures across the airport as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

TheJournal.ie has sought a response from Shannon Group on this specific matter.

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Rónán Duffy

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