HC Deb 14 June 2004 vol 422 cc696-7W
Mr. Lazarowicz:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what his policy is regarding the proposed subparts of JAR-OPS parts 1 & 3 on Flight and Duty Time Limitations and Rest Requirements (Subpart Q) contained within the proposals now being considered by the European Council of Ministers on flight time limitations in Europe; [177610]

(2) what representations he has made to the European Council of Ministers regarding the proposals for flight time limitations in Europe; [177611]

(3) what representations he has received from the Civil Aviation Authority regarding the proposed flight time limitations; and what assessment he has made of the proposals before the European Council of Ministers. [177612]

Mr. McNulty:

JAR-OPS 1 and 3 do not contain any requirements on flight and duty time limits as the Joint Aviation Authorities were unable to agree requirements when they were adopted in 1996. The draft Regulation currently under consideration transposes JAR-OPS 1 into Community law, together with flight and duty time requirements proposed by the European Parliament in September 2002.

We recognise the need for harmonised flight and duty limits to ensure a high level of safety and a level playing field in the single aviation market. We can therefore support the proposal provided that it achieves an acceptable level of safety. The Civil Aviation Authority has reviewed the proposal and advises that while the proposal in its original form was unacceptable, with a number of relatively small amendments it could form an acceptable baseline European flight time limitation requirement, supported by additional requirements in each member state. We have subsequently worked with our European colleagues to agree suitable amendments to the proposal. The CAA is satisfied that, the current text of the proposal taken as a whole will allow it to ensure an acceptable level of safety for UK airlines.