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Armed Forces: Low Flying

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009


My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Kevan Jones) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The amount of low flying training carried out in the UK low flying system (UKLFS) during the training year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 was the minimum required for aircrew to reach and maintain their ability to fly at low level. The number of low flying training hours conducted was 51,888 hours, a reduction of 1,263 hours on the previous training year. This level of activity has been relatively constant over the past three years. The amount of operational low flying (between 250 feet and 100 feet) by fixed wing aircraft has further reduced by 34 per cent from the previous training year, and there has now been a reduction of 64 per cent over the past three years.

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 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.

This year some changes have been made to the way in which the information in the report is presented; the most significant of these is that the data on the amount of low flying for dedicated user areas, principally used for helicopter training, is now being presented on the same basis as that for the rest of the low flying system.

Additional copies of The Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the UK 2008-2009 are available on request from the following address: Air Staff, Complaints and Enquiries Unit, Ministry of Defence, Level 5 Zone H, Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2HB.

Alternatively it can be viewed on the MoD's website at aviation/lowflying.