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Private Aircraft

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 3 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the total number of air hours flown in United Kingdom airspace for the last three years for which figures are available by (a) commercial and (b) private aircraft.

The figures are not available in precisely the form requested, but the most likely numbers are given in the table.The commercial aircraft figures relate to aircraft of more than 2,300 kg mass. The private aircraft figures are for United Kingdom-registered aircraft only, but for all flying including that flown outside United Kingdom airspace.


To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many private pilots are currently registered in the United Kingdom.

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued 55,135 private aeroplane licences and 2,203 private helicopter licences. However, the CAA has no knowledge of how many of these licence holders are currently exercising the privileges of the licences.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents for each of the last three years have involved aircraft flown by private pilots.

Not all accident reports indicate the type of licence held by the pilot. A flight which is clearly a private flight may well be flown by the holder of a commercial licence and conversely many private aircraft are registered in the public transport category so that they can be flown on payment by, for example, other club private pilots. Taking these points into consideration, the safety data analysis unit of the CAA believes that the following table represents the accidents involving pilots with private or student licences.

Accidents involving United Kingdom registered aircraft flown by pilots with private or student licences
Fatal accidentsTotal accidents
Accidents to foreign registered aircraft in United Kingdom airspace flown by private licence holders