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Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what basis permission was given by RAF Gibraltar on 29th April for Spanish military jets to enter Gibraltar airspace. [111698]

Two fast jets of the Spanish Air Force conducted a sortie in the vicinity of Gibraltar on 29 April 2003. The aircraft did not enter Gibraltar airspace and no request was made for permission to do so. The Spanish authorities gave RAF Gibraltar advance notice of the aircraft's intentions and the crew remained in contact with RAF Gibraltar Air Traffic Control throughout their time in the vicinity of the Rock. We very much welcome the co-operation of the Spanish authorities which ensured that the jets posed no risk to commercial flight safety.