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Civil Aviation Authority: Aviation Safety — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:51 pm on 6th February 2020.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 3:51 pm, 6th February 2020

I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman’s point. I was about to say that I understand the jeopardy that the individual concerned feels placed under. There is an apparent asymmetry of information available in the local community, with, on the one hand, a public discussion about what occurred, and on the other hand, the private information as to what was found and what was done with that information. I am more than happy to make a commitment to talk to the CAA to see what more can be done to assist the individual concerned, and perhaps try to provide some degree of reassurance or to resolve the matter in that way. I hear his point and I hope that we can find a solution.

The right hon. Gentleman spoke about the wider issue of the remote control towers being centralised in Inverness. I understand his points. When I started out in the House, I was a member of the Transport Committee. My first big victory on that Committee led it to challenge the Government about the withdrawal of the emergency towing vessels in Shetland and the closure of some of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency stations. The Transport Committee flew up to Stornoway from Newquay on a regional flight; we were the only people on board. I saw for myself how rapidly conditions change in that part of the world and the significance—the vital importance—of having reliable communications facilities for those remote locations. I understand entirely where he is coming from.