Aircraft: Safety

Department for Transport written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to improve the safety and regulation of light aircraft, and (2) the safety and regulation of such aircraft which are registered in the United States and other overseas jurisdictions but operating primarily in the UK.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport has recently commissioned an independent review into the safety of recreational General Aviation. The review showed a continuous downward trend in the number of accidents involving light aircrafts since the 1980s, and that the number of accidents in the UK is lower than in the US, Australia and New Zealand. The authors considered that the current safety level of recreational GA is acceptable but made a number of recommendations. We will work with the CAA to consider the implications, and will continue to keep all areas of safety policy under review.

Regarding third country registered aircraft based in the UK, the majority are non-complex aircraft registered in the US, used for recreational aviation. Both the General Aviation safety review and evidence from the CAA show there is no evidence that overall non-UK registered aircraft are maintained to a lower standard than UK registered aircraft, and that overall non-UK and European registered aircraft do not have a higher accident rate.

For these reasons, the Department for Transport does not consider there to be a safety case to change the regulation of third country registered aircrafts operating primarily in the UK. However, as highlighted above, we will continue to keep all areas of safety policy under review.

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