To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of aircraft movements authorised for flying below 250 ft over the United Kingdom in (a) 1991 and (b) 1992; on how many days such low flying took place in each year; and if he will provide a breakdown of these figures for (i) the northern Scotland tactical training area, (ii) the central Wales tactical training area, (iii) the Borders tactical training area and (iv) other areas.
The number of aircraft movements authorised for flying below 250 ft within the tactical training areas is set out in the table. The number of days on which such flying actually took place is not available, however, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures in the table relate to the number of days on which flying was authorised to take place. We would expect actual figures to be significantly lower because alternative dates are often pre-booked for use in case of bad weather. Between August 1990 and March 1991 all three tactical training areas were made available on weekdays for essential operational low flying training associated with the United Kingdom's commitment in the Gulf. Operational low flying in the United Kingdom is confined to the three tactical training areas.
Tactical training areas
|Operational low flying (OLF) movements||468||90||1,256||1,814|
|Number of days on which OLF authorised||126||115||119||360|
|Number of days on which OLF authorised||165||125||187||477|
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of low-flying sorties carried out over the United Kingdom in (a) 1991 and (b) 1992 calculated by (i) counting the number of sorties directly and (ii) the pre-1985 method of logging movements between low-flying areas.
The information requested is set out in the table:
|Number of sorties||127,400||131,464|
|The approximate number of sorties flown using the pre-1985 method||99,636||111,288|
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many breaches of low flying regulations were reported to the relevant authorities by the aircrew involved in (a) 1991 and (b) 1992. was accounted for by (i) fast jets, (ii) light jet trainers, (iii) heavy propeller-driven aircraft, (iv) light propeller-driven aircraft and (v) helicopters.
This information requested is as follows:
|Category||Proportion of sorties flown|
|Light jet trainers||7·53||5·34|
|Heavy propeller-driven aircraft||1·36||1·79|
|Light propeller-driven aircraft||3·35||5·13|
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many breaches of low flying regulations were reported to the relevant authorities by the aircrew involved in (a) 1991 and (b) 1992.
This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the total number of low-flying sorties flown over the United Kingdom in (a) 1991 and (b) 1992 was represented by (i) British military aircraft, (ii) the United States Air Force aircraft and (iii) other aircraft.
The information requested is as follows:
Proportion of sorties flown
1991 Per cent.
1992 Per cent.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Air Force police personnel are currently employed on surveying potential new areas for low flying; and if he will make a statement on the criteria and method used by the Royal Air force police when surveying potential new areas for low flying.
There are no plans to change the basic structure of the United Kingdom low-flying system implemented in 1979. Two RAF Police senior NCOs are, however, occupied full time in carrying out a continuous review of the system to ensure that it remains properly reflective of current environmental and flight safety considerations.