HC Deb 26 July 1950 vol 478 cc446-7
77. Mr. George Ward

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation how many aircraft, and of what types, and how many personnel are employed in his Department's Communications Flight; upon what duties are the aircraft engaged; what is the annual cost of maintaining this flight; how many hours flying will be performed by the flight during the current financial year; and what is the average total cost per flying hour.

Mr. Beswick

As the answer is long and contains many details, I will, with permission, publish it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the details:

The number of aircraft as at 1st April, 1950, was 26, composed of: 1 Auster, 1 Proctor, 2 Tiger Moth, 3 Gemini, 11 Avro XIX, 5 Consul, 3 Dove.

The number of personnel employed at the same date was 100. Since that date one Viking aircraft has been added to the fleet and the number of Avro XIX reduced to seven. The aircraft are employed on calibration of radio and radar aids throughout the British Isles, examination of candidates for instrument rating and commercial pilot's licences, operational trials of air traffic control and airways procedures, development and trials of new airborne equipment, flight testing of lighting aids, training of G.C.A. crews, departmental communications and maintaining flying standard of headquarters personnel, and V.I.P. communications. The cost of maintaining the unit for 12 months ended 31st March, 1950, was £157,741. It is estimated that 7,500 hours flying will be performed by the unit during the current financial year. The average cost per flying hour for 12 months ended 31st March, 1950, was £18 16s. 0d.