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Aircraft Safety

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether aircraft operators are required to show (a) crews and (b) passengers the Material Safety Data Sheets of the products they have been exposed to after a contaminated air event. (74817)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has advised that there are no certification or operational requirements related to Material Safety Data Sheets. Aircraft operators are not therefore required by civil aviation safety regulations to show them to crews or passengers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which aircraft types have reported the highest number of contaminated air events in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (74818)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has advised that there have been 373 reportable occurrences involving contaminated air during the 10 year period from 1 May 1996 to 30 April 2006, during which there were 13.8 million flights carried out by UK operators worldwide in public transport operations.

Seven aircraft types had 10 or more reportable occurrences of contaminated air, representing 75 per cent. of the total number of contaminated air occurrences in the 10 year period.

1 May 1996 to 30 April 2006

Aircraft type

Reported occurrences involving contaminated air

Percentage of total reported occurrences

Boeing 757

94

25

British Aerospace BAe146

67

18

EmbraerEMB145

38

10

Boeing 737

29

8

De Havilland DHC8

22

6

Airbus A320

16

4

Airbus A319

14

4

Various other aircraft

93

25

Total

373

100

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the medical clearance of a pilot due to possible exposure to contaminated air or organophosphates in the last 30 years. (74819)

It has not been possible to establish from the Civil Aviation Authority’s medical records prior to1999 that any pilot attributed his/her symptoms to exposure to contaminated cabin air. During the past six years symptoms that have been reported by licence holders and attributed by them to exposure to contaminated cabin air have resulted in the suspension of medical fitness of 10 airline transport pilot licence holders. The periods of suspension varied according to the type of symptoms reported. However, the symptoms that have been reported by these pilots have been very varied and it has not been possible to attribute the symptoms reported to definite chemical exposures.