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Aircraft Intercepts

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how often RAF fighters have been scrambled in the last 12 months to intercept civilian aircraft in UK airspace; on how many of those occasions the intercept has taken place before the civilian aircraft reached major built up areas; and if he will make a statement. (89850)

[holding answer 9 October 2006]: RAF fighters have launched six times in the past 12 months as a precautionary measure in case they were required to intercept civilian aircraft in UK airspace. On four of those occasions the issue was safely resolved before intercept. On the other two occasions the civilian aircraft were safely intercepted and escorted to a suitable destination. I am withholding further information as details of the specific scenarios in which RAF aircraft are launched would, or would be likely to prejudice the defence of the United Kingdom.