§ 26. Mr. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for Air what study he is making of the cost of maintaining transport aircraft which have been in Royal Air Force Squadron service for 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively.
We keep a close watch on maintenance costs for different types of aircraft.
398 None of our transport aircraft has been in service for as long as fifteen years. Of the types at present in service in any numbers, only the Hastings was introduced as much as ten years ago. Individual Hastings may be no more than six years old.
§ Mr. de Freitas
Did not the Minister of Supply tell me on Monday that there were four aircraft—the Hastings, the Valetta, the Viking and the Dakota—which had been in service for ten years or more? Is it not a fact that it is becoming very uneconomical to maintain these aircraft? When will the Air Council state a requirement for replacements which will be far more economical?
I did not include the Dakota because strictly it is not within the scope of the Question. The Valetta, of course, is on its way out and will be disappearing by the middle of 1959.