§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of Royal Air Force air crew hold self-authorising status; what is the lowest rank of officer authorised to grant such status; and what instructions are given to those with the power to grant such status, concerning the criteria to be adopted in granting this status. 
§ Mr. Soames
The authority to grant self-authorising status is determined by appointment, not rank, and is vested in station commanders who, in most instances, are group captains. Instructions governing the granting of such status are contained in chapter 12 of the Queen's regulations for the Royal Air Force and orders issued by the command authority. The number and rank of officers holding this status is dependent on operational and training requirements and thus subject to constant revision. Consequently, no central records are kept and such information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.