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Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proposals for (a) airports, (b) runway extensions and (c) airport terminal extensions of which he has been notified fall within the category of major infrastructure projects as defined in the Government's consultation paper, New Parliamentary Procedures for Processing Major Infrastructure Projects. 
The forthcoming series of regional consultation documents on airports and air services will present a range of options for airport development for the next 30 years. Decisions taken following the consultation will lead to an Air Transport White Paper which we aim to publish towards the end of the year.
At present, proposals for airport development are subject to the requirements of the land-use planning system. Under the proposals for New Parliamentary Procedures for Processing Major Infrastructure Projects set out in the December 2001 consultation paper, only those projects of national importance which are designated by the Secretary of State, in the light of the definition proposed in annex C of the consultation paper,
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Mr. Jamieson: The South East and East of England Regional Air Services Study (SERAS) has examined and appraised a wide range of development options for terminal and runway capacity at existing airports and new sites.
The technical study has now been completed. It would be inappropriate to comment on the status of the options considered at this stage. We intend to launch a full public consultation on the final shortlist of options early in the summer.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action the Department will take in relation to the OECD's Maritime Transport Committee's proposals to eradicate substandard shipping. 
Mr. Jamieson: I welcome the OECD Maritime Transport Committee's (MTC) policy statement on substandard shipping. The MTC plays an important role in supporting the efforts of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and others to eliminate substandard shipping. The policy statement is also a welcome contribution to the International Quality Shipping Campaign, in which the UK plays a leading role. That campaign sets out to eradicate substandard ships through a combination of market action and state action. The UK and like minded flag states will pursue in the IMO the proposals in MTC's policy statement.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the length of time taken by the Maritime Coastguard Agency in approving stability information on the ferry P&OSL Canterbury. 
Mr. Jamieson: P&OSL Canterbury joined the UK shipping register in the summer of 1998. Her stability information booklet (SIB) had been approved in 1992 by the French classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) on behalf of her previous flag administration, the Bahamas. As BV are a classification society authorised by the UK, and the Bahamas is a reputable flag, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) followed established procedures and accepted the stability information on the basis of the previous approvals, and without any further detail checks, by marking the document "provisionally approved".
The vessel was preparing for a programme of model testing to demonstrate compliance with the "Stockholm Agreement" standards for stability with the car deck flooded, and a routine displacement check was carried out in November 2000. A number of amendments to the SIB
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were eventually required and the owner's consultant submitted a "SIB Addendum" on 8 November 2001 which was approved on 16 November, within the MCA's charter standard time for document approval.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2002, Official Report, column 149, how many of the merchant ships which have joined the UK shipping register have met the target of increasing UK cadet numbers by 25 per cent. each year. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the regulations governing ship classification societies regarding the inspection and certification of oil tankers entering British territorial waters. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency as the administration for United Kingdom registered ships, monitors classification society performance where statutory surveys are concerned and, in their role as port state control inspectors, ensures that oil tankers entering United Kingdom territorial waters comply with international regulations.
Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 which details Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil, is transposed into UK legislation by the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1996. In September 2002, the UK will be implementing substantial amendments to these regulations which will include the establishment of a schedule accelerating the phase out of single hull tankers. They will also detail a rigorous new quality test to be applied by classification societies, known as the condition assessment scheme, applicable to single hull oil tankers of 20,000 deadweight tonnes and above.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many groundings of boats in Scottish waters have been attributed to the watchkeeper falling asleep in (a) 1995, (b) 1996, (c) 1997, (d) 1998, (e) 1999, (f) 2000, (g) 2001 and (h) 2002 to date. 
|Total||Fishing vessels||Merchant vessels||Deaths||Vessel lost|
(7) To date
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Mr. Jamieson: The trends for the number of lives lost in UK waters remain static when compared to incident numbers. However, even one death is too many. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency are, therefore, currently undertaking incident prevention pilot studies in each of their three regions in order to assist in the formulation of a long-term incident prevention strategy. This strategy will address ways of reducing accidents, deaths resulting from accidents, false alarms and hoax calls.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of the cost of upgrading and revalidation of maritime certificates of competence for unemployed merchant seamen will be met by the Merchant Navy Training Provider. 
SMarT support is paid at fixed rates representing approximately 50 per cent. of the average course costs. This is made available through the Merchant Navy Training Provider (MNTP) for the revalidation of certificates of competency.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many persons resident in Scotland have received assistance through the Merchant Navy Training Provider to upgrade and revalidate certificates of competency. 
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