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Air Misses

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people in each of the last 10 years, passengers plus aircrew, have been at risk in serious air misses where, in the opinion of the Civil Aviation Authority, a collision would have resulted had one or both pilots not taken avoiding action without prior instructions to do so from air traffic control.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the inquiry which he has ordered in connection with his statement to the House on air misses on Monday 8 February, Official Report, column 21–24, has power to require the pilot of the Maley aircraft concerned to give evidence; and if he will make a statement.

The investigation into the air miss on 6 February involving a British Airways Tristar and a Bulgarian Balkan Airways TU154B was ordered by the Department's chief inspector of accidents, following a request from the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. The investigation is being carried out under the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations 1983, which give the inspector powers to examine all such persons as he thinks fit. Where witnesses are resident overseas reliance is placed on annex 13 to the Chicago convention on international civil aviation, which covers the investigation of accidents and incidents. The Bulgarian authorities have accepted an invitation to participate in this investigation in accordance with the provisions of annex 13.