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Aircraft: Defibrillators

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 69448, tabled on 28 March 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many British people (a) suffered and (b) died as a result of cardiac arrests while on a plane in each of the last five years; and if he will assess the potential merits of introducing statutory proposals on ensuring the availability of defibrillators on planes after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered on

4 April 2017

The Government does not hold specific data relating to how many British people suffered, or died, as a result of cardiac arrests on-board aircraft. However cases of sudden cardiac arrest are very rare when compared to the number of passengers carried.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is responsible for the regulations relating to equipment to be carried on aircraft operating in Europe and competent national authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) being such a body in the UK, are responsible for oversight of the compliance. The EASA regulations do not require aircraft to carry defibrillators.

Most UK operators, including all long-haul operators, already carry defibrillators.

The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising for our aviation industry from the UK’s exit from the EU, including the implications for the continued participation in the EASA system.