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Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the aircraft for the use of the Prime Minister will be ready to enter service; and what the estimated whole life cost of such aircraft is estimated to be. (125931)

The Department for Transport plans to introduce the new air travel service as early as possible, consistent with best procurement practice and the need to deliver value for money and appropriate levels of safety, security and reliability. The timetable for delivery will depend upon the contractual arrangements and the lead-in times needed by suppliers to meet the new requirement.

Sir Peter Gershon’s “Independent Air Travel Review” estimated that the new service would cost between £104 million and £107 million in net present value terms over a ten year period. This compares with a cost of £98 million over the same period of continuing with the existing arrangements. Sir Peter Gershon’s Review calculated that such an arrangement would add no further burden to the public purse.