§ Lord Gallacher
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What future provision is being made for helicopter flying for the Royal Family. [HL509]
§ Lord Gilbert
Further to the Answer given by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence of 31 July 1997, (CommonsHansard, col. 466), the Ministry of Defence has run a competition, on behalf of the Royal Household, for the provision of a helicopter service for the Royal Family. As a result of the responses to the competition it became clear that the option of using an aircraft with civilian aircrew operating out of a civilian airfield would provide greater savings to the taxpayer than a military operated solution. The Royal Household therefore decided that they wished to pursue this option and have now decided to place contracts for such a civilian service with Sikorsky and Air Hanson.