HC Deb 04 July 1960 vol 626 cc14-5
19. Dr. Bennett

asked the Minister for Aviation what was the identity of the aircraft that flew noisily and very low, contrary to regulations, over Westminster between 0255 and 0300 hours on 28th June; what were the reasons for this flight and the manner in which it was carried out; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rippon

The aircraft was probably a York which took off from London Airport for Brussels at 0251. We have no evidence that the flight was carried out in a manner which contravened regulations.

Dr. Bennett

With great respect, may I supply the evidence? It was a shattering noise which awoke at least one Member of Parliament, with nothing particular on his conscience, from a deep sleep. May I suggest that as the noise of aircraft engines appears to be increasing, the regulations may perhaps be at fault in allowing machines to fly too low?

Mr. Rippon

As my hon. Friend has just heard, sound is not a very good measurement of height. Regular height checks are made and the regulations prohibit aircraft from flying below 1,500 ft. over built-up areas.

Mr. A. Royle

Would my hon. Friend consider setting up a permanent radar height check system so that evidence is always available to him if this sort of thing should occur again?

Mr. Rippon

Regular height checks are made by radar; and full-time special height checks are also carried out in districts around London. Our evidence is that there is about 95 per cent. compliance with the regulations. If there is any breach of them, the matter is always taken up with the airline concerned.