8 February 2011

The Countess of Mar (Crossbencher): Asked Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 21 December (WA 272), why the Civil Aviation Authority website states: “The Aviation Health Working Group is an interdepartmental organisation, chaired by the Department for Transport with representatives from the CAA, Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Health. It meets every two months to discuss issues relevant to aviation health and was instrumental in the decision to form the AHU (Aviation Health Unit). At alternate meetings industry and passenger representatives attend”, when no meetings have been held since 18 February 2010; and what is the reason for the differences between the website and the Written Answer.

Earl Attlee (Government whip, Conservative): The notes of the Aviation Health Working Group (AHWG) meeting on 23 April 2007 show that the group decided then to meet three times a year. However, my right honourable friend the Minister of State has recently written to the Chair of the Science and Technology Committee to communicate the Government’s decision to discontinue the AHWG.

The Department for Transport, like other public sector bodies, is prioritising its research and administrative expenditure. The Aviation Health Unit (AHU) in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will now be the main forum for aviation health issues. In future we would expect greater international co-operation in respect of researching any aviation health issues which are common to air travellers and airlines of all nationalities.

The CAA website is due to be updated to reflect these developments.

Sourced from Dehavilland