HC Deb 13 December 1984 vol 69 cc577-8W
Mr. Body

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how close aircraft are permitted to fly for the purposes of the aerial application of pesticides to, respectively, dwelling houses, schools, hospitals, buildings containing farm animals, other buildings and roads in each of the other member countries of the European Economic Community.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Comprehensive information is not available; the following figures, however, were produced for the Council of Europe committee of experts on pesticides:


  • 2,000 metres from dwellings
  • 300 metres from single buildings


  • 300 metres from dwellings
  • 25 metres from roads

Federal Republic of Germany

  • 50 or 100 metres from other fields or objects*

Republic of Ireland

  • 15 metres from buildings
  • 50 metres from water


  • 150 metres downwind from buildings
  • 100 metres upwind

*It is not clear from the information provided how the two limits are applied.

Mr. Body

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to seek to obtain powers to ban aerial spraying from specified areas.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Aerial spraying is subject to a wide range of controls exercised by the Civil Aviation Authority under the Air Navigation Order 1980. These include minimum distances which aircraft must maintain from houses, congested areas and sensitive areas such as hospitals, schools, children's playgrounds and stables. In addition fresh powers are being sought in clause 15 of the Food and Evnironment Protection Bill which is under consideration in another place. These would enable regulations imposing controls on the environmental safety of aerial spraying to be made to complement the controls currently exercised by the CAA.

Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions there were in each of the years from 1980 for offences arising from aerial crop spraying.

Mr. Michael Spicer

The number of prosecutions brought by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Health and Safety Executive were as follows:

Year Number
1980 0
1981 1
1982 1
1983 3
*1984 7
* Prosecutions initiated before 6 December 1984

In other cases where either the seriousness of the offence or the evidence available did not warrant bringing a prosecution operators and pilots were warned or cautioned.