HC Deb 11 April 1956 vol 551 cc194-5
8. Mr. P. O'Neill

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what rules military and other aircraft have to observe when flying in the vicinity of civil aircraft corridors in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Watkinson

When aircraft are flying under visual flight rules there are no special restrictions applying to their flight in the vicinity of airways. Under instrument flight rules, however, all civil aircraft must obtain permission from air traffic control before crossing an airway. Military aircraft, other than fighters, normally do the same, but if they cannot they must cross at pre-determined heights different from those being used by aircraft flying on the airway. Fighter aircraft usually cross airways under radar control, but exceptionally may use the procedures applicable to other military aircraft.

Mr. O'Neill

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that with the increasing speeds of modern aircraft it is vitally important that these rules should be rigidly observed? Is he satisfied that they are so observed? Can he tell me who is responsible for reporting breaches of these rules and whether such breaches as occur are diligently reported?

Mr. Watkinson

I quite agree it is very important with the much increased congestion, particularly near large aerodromes, that everybody should very strictly observe the rules. I do not think I ought to comment in detail on the case which perhaps my hon. Friend has in mind, or on what arises from it, until we have the report of the inquiry.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Is it not equally a question of whether the rules are sufficient to meet the problems of the present day? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider looking into those rules to see whether they should be revised in view of the incident referred to?

Mr. Watkinson

This matter will be reviewed when we have the report.

Mr. McKibbin

Is the Minister aware that the latest American and Swiss aircraft are fitted with forward radar which permits them to detour bad weather zones? Could that system not be adopted to avoid the possibility of collisions in the air by civil aircraft?

Mr. Watkinson

I will certainly have a look at that suggestion.

Mr. Rankin

Is it not the case that the military and civil machines, especially near London Airport, usually fly under separate control? Is it possible for those controls to be synchronised so as to prevent the possibility of what almost happened a week ago?

Mr. Watkinson

That is a good suggestion, and I will certainly look into it.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
Husband's rank (a) 1939 Basic Rate January, 1952 December, 1952 1956
Basic Rate plus pensions increase (b) Col. (3) expressed as percentage of Col. (2) New Basic Rates Col. (5) expressed as percentage of Col. (2) New Basic Rates Col. (5) plus 5 per cent. Col. (7) expressed as percentage of Col. (2)
£ £ per cent. £ per cent. £ per cent.
Field Marshal 300 360 120 500 166 525 175
General 225 285 127 425 189 446 198
Lieutenant-General 187 10s. 244 130 350 187 367 196
Major-General 150 195 130 300 200 315 210
Brigadier 120 160 133 250 208 262 218
Colonel 100 140 140 220 220 231 231
Lieutenant-Colonel 90 126 140 180 200 189 210
Major 70 98 140 140 200 147 210
Captain 50 70 140 110 220 115 230
Lieutenant 45 63 140 110 244 115 255
Cost of Living/Retail Prices Index 100 175 182 202 (January)
(a) Army ranks are given for convenience.
(b) The rates of pension issuable (subject to income qualification) under the Pensions Increase measures introduced in 1944 and 1947 to widows having dependants (of specified relationships) other than children eligible for pension from Service funds. See also note (c).
(c) A widow was eligible for Pensions Increase at January, 1952, only if her income did not exceed a specified limit and she satisfied one of the following conditions:
(i) she had attained the age of 40 years, or
(ii) she had a dependant of a specified relationship, or
(iii) she was incapacitated.