§ Mr. Caplin
[holding answer 5 February 2004]The planned expenditure for Defence 2004, which was to have taken place during the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford (not Fairfield) in July, was £1.85 million. It would have required approximately 3,300 military personnel for up to a week.
As I said in my written statement on 30 January 2004, Official Report, column 22WS, the decision to cancel Defence 2004 was taken because of the continued high level of operational commitments and the associated demands upon Service personnel and their families. The Services will, however, continue to fully support RIAT and we will be working closely with the RAF Benevolent Fund Enterprises who organise the event, to help ensure that RIAT continues its tradition of great success.