§ Mr. Favell
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the report he has received from the Civil Aviation Authority about the structural safety of Boeing 747 aircraft.556W
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
I refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 7 February 1986, at column 272, to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan). The Civil Aviation Authority has informed me that the initial inspection of the aircraft skin showed that no United Kingdom registered were cracked. Subsequently, cracks requiring repair were found in the internal structure of three aircraft as a result of additional inspections.
The CAA expects that as further aircraft are subjected to these inspections more may be found requiring repair, but the evidence does not warrant a general withdrawal of the type from service because the cracking is within the structural capability of the aircraft. The CAA has agreed a programme of inspection and repair where necessary. Each aeroplane takes three to four days for this work to be carried out and all aircraft should be completed by the end of March.