§ Mr. Nellist
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of the operation for Richard Branson's Challenger boat involving the dropping of engine filters and so on from a Nimrod aircraft; and how that cost will be met.
§ Mr. Freeman
The petrol filters were dropped by an RAF Nimrod in the course of an operational training sortie which had already been planned. RAF equipment used for the drop was recovered and has been returned for re-use. The delivery of the filters involved no extra costs to public funds.