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Department for Transport announces Royal air travel project

The Department for Transport today began the procurement of a
dedicated air service for the Royal Household and senior ministers. The service will be safer, more reliable and more secure than the current arrangement and will be provided at no extra cost to the
taxpayer. The Government will seek to minimise the environment impact of the service wherever possible.

Department today issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) to the
Official Journal of the European Union, announcing the start of the
procurement process.

This follows Sir Peter Gershon's review, which recommended that the
existing arrangements, currently provided by the RAF and the charter market, be replaced with a new dedicated air service.

Gershon's review said the current arrangements offered poor value for money (because of the need to book charter flights, often at short notice), put pressure on RAF resources and raised security issues.

In the interim period before the service can be delivered, the
current arrangement with the RAF will continue. At the same time, the Government is looking to negotiate a deal with the charter market in order to provide better value for money.

The PIN will be followed by an advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting bidders to tender. The department will release a more detailed project timetable at this stage.

1. The PIN has today been issued to the Official Journal of the
European Union (OJEU). Publication of the PIN in the OJEU is likely to be before the end of this month. A PIN is an annual or occasional advertisement in the OJEU, advising the contracting community of future procurement plans. PINs are intended to ensure that interested parties have as much time as possible to prepare for participation. A PIN is intended to provide an indication of future requirements, but does not oblige the advertising body to make the purchases referred to in any Notice.

2. Sir Peter Gershon's review of Royal Family and Ministerial air
travel, and the Government's response to his recommendations, are available in full at:

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3108
E-mail: press@dft.gov.uk
Out of Hours: 020 7944 4292
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

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