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Aviation: Snow and Ice

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what steps he has taken to ensure an adequate supply of airport and aircraft de-icing fluid during the current cold weather; (309730)

(2) what monitoring his Department undertakes of the availability of aircraft and airport de-icing fluid;

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the level of risk to transport (a) within and (b) departing from the UK of shortages in the availability of airport and aircraft de-icing fluid.

Sourcing of sufficient quantities of airport surface and airframe de-icer compounds are commercial matters for privately-owned airport operators and airlines, with the relevant suppliers. The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority have, however, been in contact with airport operators and airlines throughout the period of severe weather to monitor the operation of the supply chain. The Department has also agreed to a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers' hours and working-time rules, up to the end of Monday 11 January, for those hauliers involved in the distribution of de-icer products direct to airports.