HC Deb 08 February 1960 vol 617 cc14-5
21. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Aviation what progress has been made in arranging for helicopters to be used for city centre to city centre air services.

28. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Aviation what consideration he has given to the development of inter-city travel by helicopter, particularly between the West Riding of Yorkshire and London.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

My right hon. Friend is most anxious to encourage the development of these services. The Air Transport Advisory Council has already received applications from several operators.

Mr. Dodds

Will the Parliamentary Secretary state whether there are any proposals to use American helicopters for city centre services in the very near future? Will he also state when we can hope for the Bristol 192; and is it ever likely that the manufacturers of the Fairey Rotodoyne will be able so to control its noise that it can be used for city centre services?

Mr. Rippon

It is a matter for the individual companies concerned to consider what type of machine they will use. It is possible that they will employ some interim types of foreign manufacture. Assistance is being given by the Government to develop certain military types, including the Bristol 192. The next Question on the Order Paper relates to the Rotodyne; perhaps the hon. Gentleman will await the reply to it.

Mr. Roberts

Does the Parliamentary Secretary appreciate that my Question relates to the West Riding? Does he realise that the North-East has been sadly neglected in the past, while other services in the United Kingdom have been subsidised? Will he give some asurance that when this matter has been fully reviewed he will seriously consider the claims of the North-East and the West Riding?

Mr. Rippon

My right hon. Friend himself has, of course, no power either to provide these services or to require operators to provide them, but I have no doubt that when suitable machines are available, and when the operators think that there is a suitable traffic, every part of the country will be considered.