HC Deb 05 June 1946 vol 423 cc1982-3
25. Mr. M. MacMillan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what is now causing the delay in resuming the air services between North Uist Island and the mainland of Scotland; and when these services will be resumed.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

The delay is due to the unserviceability of the grass surface of the landing ground at Sollas. Considerable filling-in, re-turfing and re-seeding are necessary. In view of the time necessary to allow the grass to get into condition it is unlikely that the landing ground, will be completely serviceable before the Autumn, but it may be possible to start operations earlier.

Mr. MacMillan

Is my hon. Friend aware that we had assurances some months ago that this airfield would be in use in the early summer, and can he do something to try and speed it up since there is a great deal of inconvenience caused to people who have been accustomed to having an air service for 10 or 12 years?

Mr. Thomas

The difficulty has been that the responsibility is either with the landowner or with Scottish Airways Limited, and they are not willing, in view of the possible acquisition of the aerodrome by the State, to undertake the work. We have now decided, there- fore, to delay no longer but to seek authority to get on with the work ourselves.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

How can the hon. Gentleman, with his academic record, use the word " unserviceability "?

Captain MacLeod

Has the hon. Gentleman looked into the possibility of flying boat services in those areas?

Mr. Thomas

I would be glad to do so but I do not think, on the information available to me, that it would solve their problems.

Mr. MacMillan

Will the hon. Gentleman try to come to some arrangement with the Opposition to hurry the Civil Aviation Bill through?

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