§ 11. Mr. Rankin
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation the reason for the increased landing fees to be imposed on aircraft using State-controlled airfields.
Mr. Ivor Thomas
I refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Glasgow (Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison) on 24th July and to my hon. Friend the Member for Acock's Green (Mr. Usborne) on 26th July. In brief, the landing fees have recently been increased to meet increases of costs in establishment and maintenance, especially at airfields provided with hard runways. I take the opportunity of adding that these rates will not apply to flying clubs, with whom my Ministry is willing to make special arrangements.
§ Sir William Darling
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that it is said that increased landing fees are in the neighbourhood of 400 per cent. and that such a substantial increase will have severe repercussions on landing fees in other parts of the world?
No, Sir. Compared with prewar charges the increases are: for commercial aircraft, 50 per cent. for aerodromes with grass runways and 150 per cent. for aerodromes with hard runways; for private aircraft they range, according to weight, from 50 per cent. to 114 per cent. for aerodromes with grass runways, and from 150 per cent. to 257 per cent. for aerodromes with hard runways. I may add that there has been mis- 928 understanding because in addition to the prewar charges there was often an extra loading charge for each passenger.
§ Mr. Rankin
Since the airfields will now be nationalised, would my hon. Friend reconsider the whole question of charges in so far as it affects British aircraft?