British pilots denied danger money for Libya sorties: Times

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British pilots flying combat missions as part of the NATO-led operation over Libya will not receive the dangerous duties bonus paid to their counterparts working in Afghanistan, The Times reported Monday.

A defence source told the British newspaper the decision not to reward Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots flying Typhoon and Tornado jets on operations to enforce UN Resolution 1973 was "disappointing".

Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that the bonus was not being paid.

"Operational allowance is paid to those service personnel on operations where they are working at high risk over a sustained period," an MoD spokesman told the paper, adding the situation was "constantly under review".

Personnel flying over Afghanistan, regarded as being less dangerous than the Libya mission, receive £29.02 ($48.4, 32.7 euros) a day in recognition of the risks involved and services performed overseas.

"This is not the be-all and end-all but I'd love to know the justification for not paying it," the defence source told the broadsheet.

"It is disappointing and angers me because it seems to imply that (the Libya mission) is not operational flying. The threat level is higher than in Afghanistan," the source added.

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has ordered barrages of anti-aircraft fire and has at his disposal more than 216 surface-to-air missiles.

The MoD is under severe pressure to cut costs as part of British government efforts to reduce the country's deficit.

© 2011 AFP

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