§ Mr. Strang
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what United States aircraft are located at Royal Air Force Woodbridge and Royal Air Force Bentwater; and whether such aircraft use training ranges located in the United Kingdom for firing guns or cannons, missiles or for dropping bombs.
§ Mr. Stanley
A-10 Thunderbolt mark II aircraft are based at both RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwater. HC-130 Hercules aircraft and HH-53 helicopters are also based at RAF Woodbridge. Only the A-10 uses ranges located in the United Kingdom for weapons training.
§ Mr. Strang
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what information is available to him about violations of flight restrictions by United States aircraft in the vicinity of civil nuclear installations; and what arrangements exist to enforce the observance of such flight restrictions.
§ Mr. Freeman
The United States Air Force based in the United Kingdom is bound by the same strict low flying regulations as the Royal Air Force. These exist to eliminate any unnecessary activity and to control the flying that must take place. Military pilots are instructed to avoid civil nuclear installations although aircraft may still be seen in the general surrounding areas. The information available to me about breaches of the restrictions in the vicinity of civil nuclear installations is similar to that on breaches concerning any other part of the United Kingdom low-flying regulations.
We conduct covert surveys of low-flying aircraft activity taking place and disciplinary action may be taken when a serious breach of the regulations is established. I am always prepared to investigate specific incidents which suggest that low-flying regulations have been broken and if the hon. Member has such an incident in mind he is welcome to write to me about it.