Operating a sole Learjet 45 for VIP transport and other mission sets, Comdt Peter Smyth, OC 102 Squadron speaks to Key.Aero about the aircraft’s role and future.
Tasked with providing air transport services to the state, 102 Squadron operates within No 1 Operations Wing of the Irish Air Corps (IAC).
“Within this remit, one of our core functions is the provision of the ministerial air transport service (MATS) for members of the Irish Government,” Smyth explains. “MATS first came into operation in July 1979 following a decision by the then sitting government that the Air Corps was to be provided with a turbine-powered aircraft, to be used as necessary to transport the president, minister and officials in connection with travel for official duties. At this time, the role was carried out by Training and Transport Squadron which has evolved into the current day 102 Squadron.”