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Air Safety

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy towards air safety in the light of the conclusions contained in the paper presented to the EEC symposium on air safety last week by the director of Cranfield air safety centre regarding the number of fatalities involved in the Manchester airport tragedy which occurred as a direct result of smoke and toxic fumes; and if he will make a statement.

Any action on civil aviation safety arising from the conclusions of the paper are a matter for the Civil Aviation Authority, which is wholly responsible for aviation safety regulation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the accident investigation branch has yet reported its conclusions to him regarding the Manchester airport tragedy and any recommendations for the implementation of measures to reduce the risk and severity of such accidents in the future; and if he will make a statement.

The investigation by the air accidents investigation branch into the Boeing 737 accident at Manchester airport in August 1985 has been complex and exhaustive, going deeply into the problems of survivability.The investigation is now complete and the draft report is shortly to be sent to the persons entitled to it under the regulations, for their representations. The chief inspector of accidents anticipates submitting the report to the Secretary of State in the spring and it will be published shortly afterwards, subject to any request for a review board.Soon after the accident the Civil Aviation Authority took airworthiness action on engine failure as a result of information passed by the AAIB. The AAIB also made several recommendations between September and December 1985 concerning the safety of passengers.