§ Mr. Bill Walker
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has yet made a decision about the future deployment of search and rescue helicopters at RAF Leuchars; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Speller
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will announce his decision over the future deployment of A flight, 22 Squadron, RAF Chivenor.
§ Mr. Freeman
My hon. Friends will be aware that the Ministry of Defence has been conducting a detailed study, in consultation with the Department of Transport and other interested Government Departments, into the deployment of military search and rescue helicopters in the United Kingdom. Certain aspects of that study, as they affect deployment on the east and south coasts of England, have been completed and announced.
I am well aware of the concern felt by my hon. Friends and other hon. Members about the future of search and rescue helicopter services as they affect the remaining areas of the country. To enable all these concerns to be further considered by the Government, no decisions will be taken until later this year.