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Iraqi Pilots (Training)

Volume 116: debated on Thursday 14 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the training of Iraqi pilots at Kidlington, including (a) the number of Iraqi pilots currently at Kidlington, (b) whether their training is intended to equip them as military or civilian pilots, and (c) whether and on what basis his Department is satisfied that the skills acquired in the United Kingdom will not be used in the war against Iran.

We do not have details of the number of foreign students, including Iraqis, currently training at the privately owned and run Oxford air training school at Kidlington. We are aware, however, that the training leads to civilian pilots licences, both private and commercial, and we understand that the skills obtained cannot of themselves be used in an offensive role.