HC Deb 18 February 1988 vol 127 cc739-40W
Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what aircraft were considered for use on anti-oil pollution patrols; why each was rejected; and why a foreign aircraft was chosen.

Mr. David Mitchell

The aircraft to be used on antipollution patrols is one of a number being provided and operated by a firm which has been contracted to undertake a varied package of aerial counter-pollution work, including patrolling and dispersant spraying. The choice of contractor was made, after full competitive tendering, on the basis of competence, ability to meet a performance specification, and the cost of the total service. No stipulation was made of the make of aircraft to be provided except insofar as they should be capable of meeting the specified performance criteria. The company awarded the contract is British and of the eight aircraft committed to the overall contract five are of British manufacture.