|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what investigation has been carried out into the security implications of the suggested commercial use of RAF bases in Scotland; what the outcome was of this investigation; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what representations his Department made to commercial airline companies concerning the possibility of commercial use of RAF bases in Scotland; if he will list these representations by (a) date and (b) airline concerned; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what costings have been made with regard to the commercial use of (a) RAF Kinloss, (b) RAF Lossiemouth and (c) RAF Leuchars; if these costings were passed on to commercial airline companies; and if he will make a statement; 
22 May 2002 : Column 365W
(5) what the conclusions of Strike Command's feasibility study were for each of the Scottish RAF bases; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 21 May 2002]: As part of the Government's wider market initiative, RAF Strike Command is considering the feasibility for commercial exploitation of irreducible spare capacity at RAF Leuchars. No other airfields in Scotland have so far been considered. The RAF Leuchars study is at an early stage with the team currently examining whether commercial exploitation of irreducible spare capacity is feasible. As a part of this work, consultants have sought the views of the airline operator community; however, the detailed findings are commercially sensitive. The feasibility study has no remit to address the issue of what the costs might be for a commercial airline company to operate scheduled services from RAF Leuchars. Initial indications suggest that there might be some irreducible surplus airfield capacity at RAF Leuchars. However, until the Ministry of Defence formally seeks proposals from industry as part of an open and competitive process, my officials cannot fully evaluate the potential for the commercial exploitation at RAF Leuchars. A security assessment has not been undertaken at this stage of the feasibility study.
Some three weeks ago, Ryan Air expressed an interest in introducing new routes into Scotland, possibly using RAF airfields. Their formal proposals are awaited. No Ministry of Defence Minister or official has met representatives of commercial airline companies to discuss the commercial use of RAF stations in Scotland. Apart from occasional use by civil air operators permitted by existing MOD regulations, no formal proposals have been put forward by airline companies for the operation of scheduled services from any of the RAF stations located in Scotland.
Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the total professional fees were for the redevelopment of his Department's main building, broken down by the (a) payer and (b) payee; 
22 May 2002 : Column 366W
(3) what the total (a) refurbishment and (b) operating costs are in the PFI project for the redevelopment of his Department's main building, broken down by the principal cost headings used; 
(4) what assumptions have been made about inflation in the PFI deal for the redevelopment of his Department's main building. 
Mr. Ingram: Exercises are a fundamental activity for all military units not on operations at every level. To isolate, identify and cost the requested information, even if it were possible, could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the houses sold back to Annington Homes have been (a) grade 1, (b) grade II, (c) grade III and (d) grade IV since 1996; how much was spent on the repair and renovation of these houses in each year since 1996; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, it has generally been the practice to upgrade to Standard 1 for Condition those properties which are required as longer term core stock for service family occupation. Those which are not so required are disposed of, mainly by handing them back to Annington Homes Ltd., to whom the equity in the housing stock (in England and Wales) was sold in 1996.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average number of flying hours in each of the last 12 months for pilots in (a) 9 Squadron, (b) 12 Squadron, (c) 14 Squadron, (d) 31 Squadron, (e) 617 Squadron, (f) 11 Squadron, (g) 25 Squadron, (h) 43 Squadron, (i) 111 Squadron, (j) 6 Squadron, (k) 41 Squadron, (l) 54 Squadron, (m) 1 Squadron, (n) 3 Squadron and (o) 4 Squadron was. 
|Squadron no.||April 2001||May 2001||June 2001||July 2001||August 2001||September 2001||October 2001||November 2001||December 2001||January 2002||February 2002||March 2002|
22 May 2002 : Column 367W
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 20 May 2002]: NATO has been invited by the Macedonian Government to extend the mandate of Operation Amber Fox for a further four months until 26 October 2002. The Netherlands will take over from Germany as lead-nation on 26 June 2002.
At Barcelona, the European Council expressed the European Union's availability to take responsibility for a follow-on to the NATO mission in Macedonia, Operation Amber Fox, following Macedonian elections set for 15 September 2002, and if the Macedonian Government so requested. The offer was conditional on the permanent arrangement on EU-NATO co-operation ("Berlin Plus") being in place by then.
Mr. Hoon: There is no universally accepted definition of the phrase "weapons of mass destruction", but it is generally held to refer to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The UK possesses no chemical or biological weapons. It holds nuclear weapons lawfully, and is one of the category of nuclear weapons states as defined in Article 9(3) of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|