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Harrier Public House

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what heights Harrier aircraft overflew the Harrier public house at Bowerhill, Wiltshire and surrounding area on 9 November.

The Harrier aircraft flew at a height of between 250 and 500 ft above ground level.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours' flight time was used by the Royal Air Force Harrier aircraft to travel between their base and the Harrier public house on 9 November.

The Harrier aircraft flew a routine training mission of 50 minutes' duration. The overflight of the public house required no additional flying time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what was the total cost of the overflight of the Harrier public house at Bowerhill, Melksham, Wiltshire on Thursday 9 November;(2) whether any of the costs to the Royal Air Force of the overflight of the Harrier public house by Royal Air Force Harrier aircraft on 9 November were reimbursed by the brewery or the licensee.

The overflight of the Harrier public house was undertaken as part of a routine training sortie. It is not our practice to give information on the costs of individual sorties. However, no additional costs were incurred as a result of the overflight, and there was therefore no requirement for reimbursement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether those Royal Air Force personnel present at the Harrier public house, Bowerhill, Wiltshire on 9 November were on official duty; and if he will make a statement.

Royal Air Force personnel attended the Harrier public house on 9 November in a private capacity and were off duty at the time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who instigated the overflight of the Harrier public house by Royal Air Force Harrier aircraft on 9 November; and whether ministerial approval was given before the flypast.

The overflight took place in response to a request from the publican of the Harrier public house at Bowerhill, Melksham. It was approved by a senior RAF commander as part of a routine training sortie, at no extra cost to public funds.