HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc790-1
30. Mr. Hunter

asked the Minister of Aviation to what extent aircraft operators are compelled under his regulations to insure beyond the Warsaw Convention against third-party risks; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rippon

There is no requirement for compulsory aircraft third-party insurance. Under the Civil Aviation Act, 1949, aircraft owners are legally liable to pay compensation for material loss or damage caused by aircraft to persons and property on the surface. In view of this legal liability, operators normally insure against the risk.

Mr. Hunter

Is the Minister aware that, following the Southall disaster, there is concern among residents round London Airport about thirty-party risks? Is he aware that the residents round London Airport have aircraft flying over them day and night? Surely, if the owner of a motor car is compelled to insure against third-party risk, third-party insurance should be compulsory for aircraft operators. Will the hon. Gentleman look into the regulations and make a statement?

Mr. Rippon

The position is that no evidence has been produced of a victim ever failing to receive compensation through lack of insurance, but we will look at the matter.