HC Deb 18 March 1959 vol 602 cc400-1
50. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what financial losses have been incurred by the nationalised corporations and other airline operators by disruption of their services this winter by fog.

Mr. Hay

I am informed that B.E.A. estimates that it lost about £200,000 this winter because of bad weather. B.O.A.C. thinks its losses through fog were negligible. I have no information about the losses of other airline operators.

Mr. Rankin

Could the hon. Gentleman say what steps are in view to deal with fog in the future so that we may be able to avoid losses of this nature?

Mr. Hay

On 4th February last, I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell) an Answer about fog dispersal devices which are under study. Since then, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air have both given the House information, yesterday and today, as to the efforts which are being jointly made by Government Departments. In all these, my right hon. Friend's Department holds a watching brief and will do what it can to help.

Mr. Beswick

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply said on Monday that it would cost £150 a landing to use the new F.I.D.O. system. Have the Corporations or other operators been asked whether they would be prepared to meet a bill of £150 in order to avoid diversions?

Mr. Hay

I do not think that they need to be asked. I just do not think that it is a possibility for them to meet that sort of charge for landings and take-offs. Our objective is to try to find either some method for dispersing fog at a much lower cost than F.I.D.O. or some other method altogether such as the one mentioned by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air this afternoon.

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