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CIA Aircraft

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the CIA Gulfstream jet registration N379P has used (a) UK airspace and (b) UK airports since 1 May 1997; what the purpose was of each flight; and if he will make a statement. (98856)

A flight plan must be filed with Eurocontrol for all flights operating into European controlled airspace that cross international borders. My right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South-West (Mr. Darling) and the Secretary of State agreed that Eurocontrol should release data earlier this year to Dick Marty, chair of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe, in order to contribute to the inquiry into rendition undertaken by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The UK asked for a copy of our relevant data which was then published on the Department’s website in April and June this year at and respectively. The Eurocontrol data show that flight plans for aircraft registration N379P were filed for operations into the UK on approximately 80 occasions between 2001 and 2003.

The information we hold on these flights does not include details of passengers or purpose of flight, as this information is not routinely collected.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my right hon. Friend the former Foreign Secretary’s written ministerial statement of 20 January 2006, Official Report, columns 37-38WS, and written answer of 6 February 2006, Official Report, columns 784-85W.