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Civil Aviation

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport(1) what action he is taking following the resolution by the European Parliament of 8 November 2002 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in respect of civil aviation; [114212](2) what discussions he has held with the Civil Aviation Authority on the harmonisation of European civil aviation rules relating to pilots' flying hours; [114213](3) what the Government's policy is on the amendment of flight time limitations

(a) at national and (b) at European level. [114214]

UK flight and duty time limitations are the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority. Their prime objective in setting such limits is to ensure that crew members are adequately rested at the beginning of each flying period and while flying are sufficiently free from fatigue so that they can operate to a satisfactory level of efficiency and safety. Any amendments to UK limitations will take that objective into account.The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reviewed the European Parliament's proposed flight time limitations (FTL) requirements. They advise me that, while the requirements are not totally acceptable, with suitable amendment they could form a baseline European FTL requirement which could be supplemented by additional requirements in each member state. We recognise the need for FTL requirements to be harmonised at a European level and should the proposal come before the Council we will work constructively with other member states to ensure that it is appropriately amended. We will not endorse the proposal if any of the limits are significantly different to those set by the CAA in CAP 371, which are in line with scientific advice that the CAA has received over the years.