HC Deb 04 August 1965 vol 717 cc1682-3
23. Mr. Kirk

asked the Minister of Aviation what studies his Department has made on automating air traffic control in the London area.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The Royal Radar Establishment and the Civil Aviation Operational Research Branch have for some time been studying the application of automation to air traffic control problems including those of the London area. Computers to process flight plans will, from next year, be progressively introduced at the Southern Air Traffic Control Centre and equipment, already in production, for the processing of radar data, will be in use by 1970.

Mr. Kirk

Is the Minister aware that it is good news that at last something is being done about automating London Airport? How fast can he press ahead with this? Will he say whether the whole of this field will come within the terms of reference of the inquiry which he is proposing to set up into the third London airport?

Mr. Jenkins

I will press ahead as fast as I can. There is another Question down about the hon. Member's second supplementary Question. The inquiry will consider whether Stansted is the right site. It will be able to consider whether an alternative site would be a better site. It will not be able to consider whether there is a need for a third London airport. I hold the view of the previous Administration that this must be a matter for Government decision.