Angus Robertson – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Angus Robertson on 2015-01-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 7 of Director General, Military Aviation Authority, Air Safety Annual Report, August 2013-August 2014, published in January 2015, what assessment he has made of the implications of the conclusions of that report on his policy on mitigating mid-air collisions; and if he will require a full Airborne Collision Avoidance System to be fitted in all operational Typhoon aircraft.

Mr Mark Francois

Mid-air collision remains the top air safety risk. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has made considerable progress in reducing the risk of Mid-Air Collision, as the report highlights. Operating Duty Holders are well focused on the risk and are working hard to develop and evolve further mitigations.

Avoidance of collision in the air requires a multi-layered approach, including effective de-confliction planning; supervision of flying and equipment fitted to aircraft to aid situational awareness; employment of suitable radar services; and ultimately an effective lookout from the aircraft to "see and avoid" each other. A wide range of technical and non-technical mitigations are used to reduce the risk to a tolerable level which is as low as reasonably practicable. The risk analysis and associated mitigations are regularly reviewed and adjusted where required in accordance with Military Aviation Authority regulations. The procurement of a collision warning system for UK Typhoon is ongoing with a number of options being assessed using the extant MOD procurement process.