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Royal Air Force (Training)

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role of RAF Woodvale in the training of RAF recruits. [1166631]

RAF Woodvale is the home to Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron (MASUAS), Liverpool University Air Squadron (LUAS) and No. 10 Air Experience Flight (AEF). Both University Air Squadrons at RAF Woodvale train undergraduate student pilots according to the Elementary Flying Training syllabus, which, during a student's time at university, provides them with general handling, instrument flying, formation and navigation. Ex-UAS student pilots are then able to enter the RAF at a stage where they can be streamed and selected for fast jet, helicopter or multi-engine aircraft. The AEF provides air experience for air cadet members of the Air Training Corps and RAF sections of the College Cadet Force.

With effect from July 2003, RAF Woodvale will also train up to 17 Direct Entrant pilots to their streaming point, since the RAF element of the Joint Elementary Flying School contract is to be absorbed into the contract that covers UAS flying. This will be done within existing contracted flying hours.

The UASs also provide general Service training for potential officers of all branches of the RAF.