HC Deb 24 November 1995 vol 267 cc342-3W
Mr. Foulkes

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures exist for military air traffic controllers to report breaches of active danger areas by military aircraft; and how many such breaches were reported in each of the last three years. [1298]

Mr. Soames

National Air Traffic Services procedures allow military air traffic controllers to report civil and military aircraft breaches of danger areas in the United Kingdom. In the event of a breach by UK-based military aircraft, a report is sent to the appropriate military operating authority. Reports of breaches by foreign military aircraft are sent to NATS. Where the aircraft operator is not known, breaches are reported initially to HQ Military Air Traffic Organisation so that the aircraft can be identified. Since the beginning of 1993, the number of infringements by military aircraft has been:

Year Number
1993 3
1994 15
1995 (to date) 13

Mr. Foulkes

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the difference between a practice interception and a visual identification, in terms of the manoeuvres permitted by British military fighter aircraft when in the vicinity of a civil aircraft. [1305]

Mr. Soames

An interception is the initial manoeuvre flown by military aircraft to identify visually an aircraft which has penetrated the UK air defence region without warning. The practice of these manoeuvres is essential training for military aircrew, but any training involving civil aircraft is conducted only as part of a pre-briefed exercise and does not take place in controlled airspace.

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