HC Deb 09 May 1995 vol 259 cc350-1W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what parliamentary approval will be required prior to the introduction of the JAA proposals on European regulations for flight and duty times; [21879]

(2) what assessment he has made of the representations he has received from the British Airline Pilots Association relating to the JAA proposals on flight and duty times; [21881]

(3) when he last met the head of the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the JAA proposals for European regulations on flight and duty times; what assessment he has made of the stringency of the proposals; and if the JAA proposals are equivalent to the current CAA regulations; 21880]

(4) to what extent the JAA proposals for regulations on flight and duty times will be extended to airports outside London; and how these proposals will be financed. [21882]

Mr. Norris

The Air Navigation Order sets annual and monthly limits on flight times for flight crews. Within those limits, the order requires operators to establish a flight time limitation scheme which has to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority subject to such conditions as they think fit. The CAA's advice on how to formulate an acceptable flight time limitation scheme is contained in civil aviation publication 371. The JAA's present proposals do not affect the provisions of the Air Navigation Order and could be implemented in the United Kingdom by amending the advice in CAP 371. In the longer term, the proposals should come before the European Council for adoption as an EC regulation.

Specific responsibility for, and expertise in, flight and duty time limitation schemes rests with the CAA's flight operations policy section. My noble Friend the Minister for Aviation last met the head of this section to discuss the JAA proposals on 28 February 1995. The British Air Line Pilots Association has expressed concern about certain aspects of the JAA proposals which differ from the advice contained in CAP 371, but the CAA stresses that flight time limitation schemes have to be seen as an overall "package" of measures. The CAA is satisfied that the JAA proposals would achieve a comparable level of protection against the onset of fatigue to the current UK requirements.

The cost of crew scheduling in accordance with any flight and duty time limitation scheme is borne by individual operators.