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British Seafarers

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 348W, on British seafarers, what performance indicators are used by his Department to assess the impact of (a) the Support for Maritime Training Scheme and (b) the Tonnage Tax on the training and employment of British seafarers. [46359]

Mr. Jamieson: The indicators are the number of trainees as given in the reply of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 348W, to the hon. Member's previous question.

We recognise that this falls short of the approximately 1,400 recruits a year estimated by academic studies to meet current needs at sea and future posts in the onshore maritime sector. The validity of this estimate is to be reviewed. We believe that the recent changes to the SMarT scheme, together with the tonnage tax training commitments, will lead to a significant increase in seafarer recruitment.

Short Sea Shipping

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 350W, on short sea shipping, when he will publish the proposals being considered by his Department for a short sea shipping employment grant. [46362]

Mr. Jamieson: We are awaiting the industry to publish their proposals.

26 Mar 2002 : Column 941W

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to announce the key targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for 2002. [46926]

Mr. Jamieson: I will shortly place in the Libraries of both Houses a copy of the Agency's Business Plan, which includes its key targets for 2002–03. The key targets are:







EU State Aid

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 350W, on EU state aid, if he will publish the assessments made by his Department of the operation of EU state aid rules on the encouragement of national flag shipping and seafarer employment. [46361]

Mr. Jamieson: Our assessment, in response to the EU Commission's enquiries, is that the current state aid rules allow for increasing UK ship registration and seafarer employment. The assessment cannot be published as it contains commercially sensitive information.

Ferry Links

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to encourage expanded ferry links between Scotland and Northern Ireland via the Lockryan ports. [45917]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 25 March 2002]: The provision of ferry services is a matter for decision by individual ferry operators and port authorities.

Swanwick

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment his Department has made of closures of air traffic control sectors by the centre of Swanwick since it began operations; what the (a) dates of (b) nature of and (c) reasons for closures were; and if he will make a statement. [45652]

26 Mar 2002 : Column 942W

Mr. Jamieson: These are operational matters for National Air Traffic Services as the operator of Swanwick and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the independent aviation safety regulator. The CAA is satisfied that the operational arrangements at Swanwick are safe and it is scrutinising the performance of the system closely.

Air Cargo

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the total net change in air cargo movements has been since 1997 for each UK airport. [45308]

Mr. Jamieson: This information is not available in the form requested.

Galileo Project

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects the Galileo Project for positioning to be completed; and when he expects it to be made compulsory for air movements in EU airspace. [45307]

Mr. Jamieson: The upcoming Transport Council on 26 March is expected to take decisions on the development and validation phase (2002–05) of Galileo, the European Commission's global navigation satellite system. The Government understands that Galileo is expected to become operational in 2008 and that the future Galileo aviation requirements have yet to be determined.

Airports

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed international airport in Northern France on the airports in the South East of England. [45247]

Mr. Jamieson: The South East and East of England Regional Air Services Study (SERAS) has not undertaken an assessment of the impact of the proposed airport in northern France on airports in the study region. It should be noted that the proposed French airport is a long way from London—about the same distance as Manchester.

Slot Allocations

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he plans to make a decision on the application for public service obligation on the Gatwick to Inverness route; and if he will make a statement on the decision of Scot Air to delete the Inverness to London-City route and its implications for security of access from Highlands to London. [45140]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 21 March 2002]: The Government will make an announcement on the application to impose a public service obligation on the Gatwick to Inverness route shortly. Scot Air's decision to cease to operate air services between Inverness and London City was a commercial one for the airline. Two other airlines continue to provide air services between Inverness and London.

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NATS

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment has been made of future funding requirements for NATS. [44338]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing North (Mr. Pound) on Wednesday 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 353W.

Airlines

Mr. Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proposals he has to pay compensation to airlines affected by the closure of US, Israeli and central London airspace following the terrorist attacks in the USA on 11 September; and if he will make a statement. [46927]

Mr. Jamieson: Following my right hon. Friend's announcement on 13 December 2001, Official Report, columns 103–04W, of a scheme of financial assistance to airlines, applications for compensation have been received. These have now been scrutinised and my right hon. Friend has decided that assistance totalling some #39.7 million will be paid to 11 airlines.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what basis state aid will be paid to airlines; which ones will receive it; whether such subsidy will be made available to all UK airlines who can prove financial loss due to the events in the USA on 11 September in proportion to the downturn in traffic they have experienced since that time; whether such subsidy will include meeting losses that can be shown to have been incurred by UK airports; and if he will make a statement. [9352]

Mr. Spellar: Following my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's announcement on 13 December 2001, Official Report, columns 103–04W, of a scheme of financial assistance to airlines, applications for compensation have been received. These have now been scrutinised and my right hon. Friend has decided that assistance totalling some #39.7 million will be paid to 11 airlines. Air 2000, Airtours, BA, bmi British Midland, Britannia, British European, JMC, KLM uk, Monarch, Scot Airways, Virgin Atlantic. Airports were not eligible under the scheme.


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