§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make a statement on the work of the Meteorological Office research aircraft in studying the composition and behaviour of smoke plumes in the Gulf.
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
The C-130 aircraft of the meteorological research flight is owned and crewed by the RAF. It has been fitted out with a wide range of sophisticated scientific instruments which are operated by Meteorological Office scientists who direct the scientific missions.230W
The aircraft will conduct a number of flights over the Gulf states before returning to the United Kingdom where the data gathered will be analysed. Measurements will be made of the optical and chemical properities of the oil smoke plume at a number of downwind distances at varying heights. The results will greatly assist the evaluation of the smoke movements and its impact.