To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
(1) what special safety inspections are made, and with what regularity, on the aircraft of airlines that are allowed to use UK airports but are banned on safety grounds from using some other European airports;
(2) what his policy is on data sharing on aircraft safety with other European countries; and what his policy is on the proposed EU Directive on this.
The Government have consistently supported data sharing arrangements established under the European Civil Aviation Conference's Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) programme. The reports of all inspections of foreign aircraft carried out under the programme are entered on a central database and may be accessed by all participating states. We also support the proposed EC Directive on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports, which is based on the SAFA programme.
My answer to John Thurso on
The record of inspections on an airline's aircraft by other states is taken into account in determining our own programme of inspections.
The SAFA programme is under constant review and we are working with our European colleagues to extend and refine the information on the database.