Aircraft and Shipping: Safety

Transport written question – answered on 3rd February 2009.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many safety inspections have been carried out on ( a) aircraft at airports and (b) ships in port in each of the last 12 months.

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) carried out 594 inspections of foreign aircraft at UK airports in 2008. These inspections are carried out on behalf of the Department for Transport and form part of the European Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft programme. The number of inspections conducted each month was:

Number of SAFA inspections January to December 2008
January 28
February 71
March 10
April 55
May 80
June 53
July 68
August 56
September 44
October 74
November 36
December 19
Total 594

The CAA's Airworthiness Division also carried out approximately 900 safety inspections on UK registered aircraft during 2008. These inspections were carried out at maintenance organisations as well as at airports and formed part of a pre-planned monitoring programme that is applied to each UK aircraft owner or operator. The inspections varied in depth and scope between a simple 'in service' ramp inspection through to a more in depth inspection during maintenance.

In addition, the CAA's Flight Operations Division has a system of planned audits of UK commercial operators which includes inspections of aeroplanes at airports. There were approximately 129 such inspections evenly spread throughout 2008. A further 20 inspections were specifically conducted on UK cargo aircraft.

Details of these inspections are not recorded centrally and therefore providing either an exact number of inspections or the months in which they took place would incur disproportionate cost.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency carries out inspections to check safety standards and living conditions on UK and dependent territory ships, as well as port state control inspections for foreign ships visiting UK ports. Over the last 12 months we have carried out the following number of targeted inspections and port state control inspections.

2008 Number of targeted inspections on UK and dependent territory Ships (inspected in the UK) Port state control inspections for foreign ships visiting UK ports
January 36 174
February 15 172
March 22 134
April 19 153
May 19 132
June 26 142
July 16 112
August 19 134
September 18 175
October 17 182
November 11 149
December 15 161
Total 233 1820

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