§ 22. Mr. N. Nicolson
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether the recent discussions at the International 412 Civil Aviation Organisation have resulted in the realigning of the civil air-routes between southern Italy and Athens so as to reduce the risk that aircraft will accidentally cross the Albanian coast-line.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Airey Neave)
The risk arises only on the more northerly of the routes concerned. I understand that the Greek civil aviation authorities, within whose jurisdiction the relevant section of this route lies, plan a realignment, the effect of which will be to take the route further from Albanian territory.
§ Mr. Nicolson
Does my hon. Friend recall the incident earlier this year when a British "Skymaster", owing to a minute navigational error, overflew Albanian territory and was forced down by Albanian fighters? Does not my hon. Friend think that urgent action is required in order to re-align the route? Am I to understand from his Answer that it is a matter not for the International Civil Aviation Organisation but for the Greek airway authorities?
§ Mr. Neave
I am glad to say that there has been no further incident of the kind that my hon. Friend described. The position is that the Greeks intend to install a new beacon on the opposite end of Kerkyra Island, to realign the route. In addition to that, my right hon. Friend has written to our airways Corporations, a number of independent operators and other organisations, asking them to take particular care to avoid flying over Albanian territory or Albanian territorial waters.