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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2546W, on Afghanistan, which company provides the civilian air transport used by ISAF in Afghanistan; on how many occasions UK troops have flown in aircraft so provided; what assessment he has made of the contribution to operations that the contract delivers; how the contract is funded and what the UK’s contribution is; what percentage of the assets used by the contractor to date has been (a) rotary and (b) fixed wing; and if he will make a statement. (194031)

The company that provides the civilian air transport in Afghanistan, via the ISAF Contracted Air Transport (ICAT) contract is Mesopotamia Group, a US-registered company. ICAT is not contracted to fly military personnel and so UK military personnel do not travel on these flights. I am pleased with the effects of the ICAT contract, which is making a useful contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, including by reducing pressures on military air and aviation assets. The contract is funded from NATO Common Funding, of which the UK contributes 12 per cent. as a standing share. Of the assets currently used by the contractor for the ICAT contract, 87 per cent. are rotary and 13 per cent. are fixed wing.