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Mr. Hanley : Intervals between deployments of aircrew overseas for operations related to former Yugoslavia and Iraq vary for a variety of reasons. On the assumption that the present pattern of deployments continues unchanged, the number of deployments overseas and the time spent on operational duty by individual RAF aircrew in a full year would on average be of the following order :
Average number in a full year of Aircraft/Theatre |Deployments |Weeks spent |on operational |duties --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- E-3D: former Yugoslavia |8 |16 Tornado GR1/1A: Iraq |0.5 |3 Tornado F3: former Yugoslavia |0.67 |8 Harrier: Iraq |1.33 |8 Jaguar: former Yugoslavia |2 |16
Royal Navy aircrew flying the Sea Harrier for former Yugoslavia operations deploy to the Adriatic with their ship for about six months at a time. Individuals would not spend the whole of this period on operations, and could expect there to be at least six months between deployments.
The E-3D force is able to meet its operational commitments and although essential crew training is being achieved, the period for initial crew familiarisation has increased.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of disorientation have been reported by aircrew flying with night vision goggles since this equipment was first employed, in each of the flying services.
Exercise Title |Date |Location ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Highland Cardinal |4-8 July 1994 |Mid Wales Welsh Cleric |11-15 July 1994 |Mid Wales Brilliant Foil |3-7 October 1994 |All of United |Kingdom mainland Green Blade |3-11 November 1994|South of Scotland |and Borders
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the date of the incident in which a Royal Air Force Tornado suffered an engine fire on take-off from Canadian air forces base Goose bay in 1993 ; what was the damage to the aircraft ; where the repairs were undertaken ; and what was the cause of the accident.
Mr. Hanley : The incident occurred on 20 July 1993. The aircraft was repaired at Goose bay after sustaining heat damage to the engines, rudder and one taileron. The cause of the incident was a servicing error during replacement of the right engine reheat fuel control unit.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the average cost per flying hour, including apportionment of fixed costs, of flying the Tornado GR1 aircraft (a) from RAF Bruggen and (b) from bases in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Hanley : Fixed costs are spread over four squadrons in the case of RAF Bruggen and two in the case of United Kingdom bases. At 1993-94 prices, the average cost per flying hour of a Torndado GR1 operated from (a) RAF Bruggen is £18,952 and (b) United Kingdom bases is £21,673. These figures include fixed costs and those relating to depreciation, interest on capital and administration.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what annual number of flying hours per member of (a) Tornado GR1, (b) Tornado F3, (c) Jaguar and (d) Harrier aircrew was provided for in Royal Air Force fuel allocations for each financial year since 1990-91.
Mr. Hanley : The average number of flying hours expected to be flown by each Tornado GR1, Tornado F3, Jaguar and Harrier aircrew member in 1990- 91 and 1991-92 was 240 hours. In financial years 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994- 95 the forecast average was 222 hours. Those flying hours were provided for in the Royal Air Force fuel allocations for the years concerned.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the number of low flying sorties carried out by Germany-based aircraft of No. 2 Group in 1993 in (a) German airspace, (b) the United Kingdom low flying system and (c) elsewhere.
Mr. Hanley : Aircraft of No. 2 group RAF strike command flew 5,228 sorties in the United Kingdom low flying system in 1993. The upper limit for low flying in German airspace is 1,500 feet. However for the purposes of statistical consistency No. 2 group now apply the United Kingdom upper limit of 2,000 feet when maintaining low flying records. Such records cover fast jet aircraft only. The number of sorties flown in Germany and elsewhere during 1993 were as follows :
|Fast jet sorties |below 2,000 feet --------------------------------------------------- Germany |2,229 Elsewhere |1,070
Column 387of the unauthorised flight in the United Kingdom low flying system of three F-16s of the royal Danish air force on 14 December 1993.
Mr. Hanley : The aircraft had been deployed to RAF Leuchars to carry out low flying training. On their return flight to Denmark they flew at low level without authorisation and breached an avoidance area. Details of the incident have been passed to the royal Danish air force for appropriate action.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about alleged low flying incidents occurring (a) in mid-Wales (b) in the whole of Wales and (c) throughout the United Kingdom he has received during each year since 1991 and in the current year to date ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : The number of inquiries or complaints relating to military low flying which my Department received in each year since 1991 to May 1994, the latest date for which figures are available, from addresses in the county of Powys, Wales and the United Kingdom are as follows :
Year |Powys |Wales |United |Kingdom ---------------------------------------- 1991 |108 |791 |4,846 1992 |199 |904 |6,295 1993 |110 |556 |5,738 <1>1994 |31 |161 |1,716 <1> Up to 31 May 1994.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the first low-level overland training area for air defence aircraft was established ; what facilities these areas are designed to provide which were not previously available to air defence units : if he will list the locations of each such area in the United Kingdom, together with their height limits, hours of operation and arrangements for limits on aircraft numbers and for deconfliction from other air traffic ; and if he will place in the Library a map showing the location and extent of the low-level overland training areas.
Mr. Hanley : The low-level operational training area--LOTA--system was established on 3 April 1992 in order to provide better co-ordination between air defence aircraft engaged in low level intercept training and offensive aircraft using the United Kingdom low flying system. The system does not provide for any form of training not previously available but allows aircrew to register their intention to train in a specific LOTA. This facilitates co-ordination of sorties and thereby enhances training opportunities. LOTAs are not subject to special regulations, but any military flying below 2,000 feet within them is subject to the normal regulations of the United Kingdom low flying system. There are seven LOTAs ; I am arranging for a map showing their location to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the (a) statutory requirements and (b) requirements set out in service orders for the operating authorities of military firing ranges and training areas to report infringements of danger area airspace.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 14 June, Official Report, column 441, how the percentage of United Kingdom herds with adult breeding cattle that had experienced at least one case of BSE, as given in "Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Great Britain, A Progress Report", published by her Department in March 1994, was calculated ; and if she will give the percentage for the latest available date.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The figure in the progress report is for Great Britain, not the United Kingdom, and is the best estimate available using information collected by the state veterinary service about confirmed cases of BSE and agricultural census data. The percentage of herds that have experienced BSE is calculated by using data from the agricultural census on the number of holdings with dairy cows plus the number of holdings with beef cows as the denominator. This introduces a small error as those holdings with both dairy and beef cows will be counted twice. Those categories will also include some holdings with non-adult animals intended for breeding but not separately identifiable. As the agricultural census collects data on "holdings" only--rather than herds--and information on BSE database relates to "herds", counting of some holdings twice is considered to give the most accurate estimate for the denominator, particularly as each holding may comprise two or more herds.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is (a) the amount of land in hectares, (b) the number of farmers and (c) the cost of the five year set-aside scheme in (i) 1993-94 and (ii) 1994 -95 ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : Payments to farmers in England under the five-year set- aside scheme for the financial year 1993-94 were some £20.7 million. Those payments relate primarily to land set-aside during the scheme year October 1992 to September 1994 under 3,360 agreements covering some 112,000 hectares. Estimated expenditure for 1994-95 is £14.1 million in respect of 2,130 agreements for the 1993-94 scheme year covering some 72,000 hectares. The reduction is the result of some farmers completing their
Column 389five-year agreements and others taking advantage of the option to terminate early in order to join the arable area payments scheme.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much money has been paid out under the arable area payments scheme in (a) each county and (b) each region for linseed in 1993-94 ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 1 February, Official Report, column 636, concerning the amounts paid out under the arable area payments scheme in 1993-94, whether these figures included payments for linseed ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment she has made of the benefit to consumers in the United Kingdom of the 1992 CAP reform agreement ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : At the time of the CAP reform agreement, it was estimated that, when the reform is fully implemented, the annual costs imposed by the CAP on consumers should be around £8 billion lower for the EC as a whole, and around £1 billion lower for the United Kingdom.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the counties served, the number of hectares and the number of farmers in each of her Ministry's regional service centres ; and if she will make a statement.
June 1993 census of agriculture and horticulture England<1> Regional service |Total |Farmers/ centre location and |agricultural |partners/ counties covered |area |directors<2> |(Hectares) |(Numbers) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bristol Avon |83,583 |2,246 Dorset |198,653 |3,412 Somerset |274,254 |6,360 Wiltshire |269,449 |3,360 |------- |------- Total |825,939 |15,378 Cambridge Bedfordshire |91,160 |1,450 Cambridgeshire |285,670 |4,046 Essex |266,916 |4,347 Hertfordshire |104,892 |1,478 Norfolk |429,960 |5,864 Suffolk |305,843 |4,205 |------- |------- Total |1,484,441 |21,390 Carlisle Cumbria |461,185 |7,755 Lancashire |221,226 |6,441 Northumberland |382,262 |2,925 Tyne and Wear |15,442 |305 |------- |------- Total |1,080,115 |17,426 Crewe Cheshire |168,502 |5,003 Merseyside |19,659 |596 Greater Manchester |41,074 |1,624 Shropshire |286,821 |5,742 Staffordshire |197,155 |5,130 |------- |------- Total |713,211 |18,095 Exeter Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |279,894 |7,758 Devon |520,312 |12,681 |------- |------- Total |800,206 |20,439 Nottingham Derbyshire |186,673 |4,450 Leicestershire |197,275 |3,307 Lincolnshire |522,994 |7,334 Northamptonshire |189,569 |2,361 Nottinghamshire |152,207 |2,459 |------- |------- Total |1,248,718 |19,911 Northallerton Cleveland |29,328 |528 Durham |158,136 |2,664 Humberside |287,186 |4,507 Yorkshire North |637,075 |10,621 South |83,235 |1,714 West |103,002 |3,401 |------- |------- Total |1,297,962 |23,435 Reading Berkshire |70,783 |829 Buckinghamshire |127,194 |2,131 East Sussex |112,163 |2,435 Hampshire |227,278 |3,267 Isle of Wight |26,494 |567 Kent |249,406 |4,694 Greater London |14,413 |492 Oxfordshire |203,870 |2,314 Surrey |68,918 |1,810 West Sussex |126,183 |2,335 |------- |------- Total |1,226,702 |20,874 Worcester Hereford and Worcester |313,880 |7,691 Gloucestershire |208,250 |3,674 Warwickshire |156,186 |2,817 West Midlands MC |15,602 |520 |------- |------- Total |693,918 |14,702 |------- |------- Total for 9 regional service centres |9,371,212 |171,650 <1>Excluding estimates for minor holdings. <2>Excludes spouses of farmers, partners and directors though they themselves may be partners or directors.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : This meeting of the Council, at which I represented the United Kingdom, had a full discussion over four days of the Commission's proposals for farm support prices for 1994-95 and related measures. In the early hours of the final day, the Presidency tabled a final compromise the costs of which were assessed by the Commission to be at the limit of the funds available. Despite this, several member states regrettably continued to press for further measures involving additional expenditure. When the Presidency called a vote Germany, France and Luxembourg rejected the package as a whole and several others objected to parts of it. The proposals were accordingly not adopted and it now falls to the German Presidency to try to break the impasse.
The Council also discussed a proposal concerning the welfare of animals in transit. Along with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark, I expressed concern that, although the proposal contained significant improvements over the present rules, including a strengthening of enforcement, it failed to go far enough. As a result of our pressure, the Commission subsequently gave a commitment to come forward by 1 July 1995 with a further proposal on maximum journey limits.
The Council unanimously agreed three directives establishing certain maximum pesticide residue levels in cereals and products of animal and plant origin, a decision establishing rules on the storage and marketing of eggs, a regulation fixing the support prices for certain fruits and vegetables for July 1994, and a regulation establishing a
Column 392Community scheme for plant variety rights. No decision was reached on the site of the European Community plant variety office, and this issue will be considered further during the German Presidency. I urged the Council to locate the office at Cambridge in view of that city's unique blend of scientific and technical expertise and excellent communications.
The Council also agreed by qualified majority a directive establishing uniform principles for the evaluation of plant protection products--Germany and the Netherlands voting against--and a decision designed to provide better financial discipline and prioritisation of programmes for assistance under the veterinary fund. I voted against this proposal because of an associated Council resolution whose wording contained the potential to undermine overall budgetary control.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions she has had concerning the unpublished European Commission report on the reform of the common agriculture policy ; and if she will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [pursuant to her reply, 24 March 1994, c. 372] : The study to which my hon. Friend referred has still not beepublished. However an article by Mr. Knud Munk, an economist employed by the Commission's DG II, which appears to cover similar ground, has recently been published in the Journal "European Economy". Copies of this article have been placed in the House Library.
The basic thrust of the article is to point to the attractions of nationally funded direct payments to farmers, de-coupled from production, as a replacement for other forms of agricultural support.