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Aviation: Foreign-registered Aircraft

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Ms Gillian Merron) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

On 1 August 2005 the department launched a consultation paper seeking views on the principle of whether foreign-registered aircraft based in the UK being used for non-commercial purposes should be required to be placed on the UK or another EU register. This would ensure that the safety of such aircraft was overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority or another EU aviation authority and that they were operated to European safety standards.

The Government have considered the responses to the consultation carefully and decided that it would not be appropriate at this time to introduce a requirement to place such aircraft on the UK register.

The Government response to the consultation has today been published and is available on the department's website, at Copies have also been placed in the House Libraries.

The response explains that the Government's objective remains that aircraft based in the UK should be required to meet safety standards acceptable within Europe and be subject to checking by the UK and other European aviation authorities.

European proposals published in November 2005 to extend the scope of common European aviation safety rules may provide scope for a better means of achieving that objective in a proportionate way. Stakeholders have been consulted generally on the proposal “to amend Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency”. This proposal specifically amends the scope of the EASA regulation to include a category of aircraft registered in a third country and used into, within or out of the Community by an operator established or residing in the Community. Detailed implementing rules will be needed to give force to this amendment and we would expect the agency to consult stakeholders on the details of its proposals at the appropriate time.