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Aviation: Gibraltar Flight Safety

Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 15 December 2006 (WA 227), what is their response to witness reports that there was a military Chinook helicopter blocking the runway. [HL1068]

The Government have not received any witness reports that a military Chinook helicopter blocked the runway at Gibraltar Airport on 29 November causing British Airways flight BA6906 to abort its approach.

The air traffic control log for 29 November 2006 shows that one Chinook aircraft was operating from Gibraltar Airport. It also confirms that at the time the British Airways flight was conducting its approach to Gibraltar Airport, this helicopter was holding three nautical miles south of the airfield at low level over the sea, in accordance with air traffic control instructions.

The pilot of the aircraft was directed to abort the approach to the airport only because the Defence Fire Service, for reasons beyond its control, had been unable to complete the mandatory routine check of the runway in time.