The amount of low flying training carried out in the UK Low Flying System (UKLFS) during the training year April 2006 to March 2007 was the minimum required for aircrew to reach and maintain their ability to fly at low level. The number of low flying training hours booked in the UKLFS (excluding the rotary wing dedicated user areas, where different booking arrangements apply) was 37,717 hours, a decrease of 6,713 (15 per cent.) hours in comparison with the previous training year. This decrease can be mostly attributed to the high level of operational deployments and immediate training requirements for operations in the close air support role being undertaken at medium level rather than low level. Low flying hours have also reduced from aircraft retiring from service. The level of operational low flying by fixed wing aircraft reduced by some 6 per cent. when compared to the last training year.
The Ministry of Defence is committed to ensuring that low flying training across the UK is spread as widely as is practically possible across the UK so that no single area is too burdened. However, due to a variety of reasons, population distribution and geographical and climate restrictions, it is unavoidable that some areas of the country may experience more activity than others.
I have today placed in the Library of the House a report giving a detailed account of the low flying training that has taken place in the UK Low Flying System for the training year April 2006 to March 2007.
Additional copies of “The Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the UK 2006/07” are available on request from the following address:
Directorate of Air Staff
Complaints and Enquiries Unit
Ministry of Defence
Level 5 Zone H
Alternatively it can be viewed on the MoD’s website at: