HC Deb 05 March 1997 vol 291 cc609-10W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 10 February,Official Report, column 70, if he will estimate the cost of answering the question of how many aircraft have been found to be overloaded in each of the past two years. [18651]

Mr. Bowis

[holding answer 4 March 1997]: The Civil Aviation Authority audits UK airlines to ensure that their aircraft are operated within the limitations of their performance, including those limitations associated with aircraft weight. Reports of these audits are placed on the file of the relevant air operator's certificate holder.

The number of incidents of overloading can therefore be obtained only by manual examination of the individual reports of each inspection carried out in the last 24 months on aircraft operated by the 230 UK holders of air operators' certificates. In this case, the hon. Member's question could be answered only at disproportionate cost.