HC Deb 08 December 1965 vol 722 cc411-2
29. Sir A. V. Harvey

asked the Minister of Aviation what steps he is taking to encourage the supply of commercial airline pilots for the air corporations and independent airlines.

38. Mr. Bishop

asked the Minister of Aviation what official facilities and grants are available for the training of commercial airline pilots; and what plans he has to grant further aid.

Mr. Stonehouse

It is primarily the responsibility of the airlines to train the pilots they need. This they may do at any course approved by my Department, and grants of up to 25 per cent. of the cost are made to airlines in respect of properly selected students at any one of these approved courses.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that both the Air Corporations are advertising for pilots, as are other world airlines? How does he reconcile this with the fact that, only last year, B.O.A.C. offered "golden handshakes" to over 100 captains but stopped this when 52 of them had accepted? Now B.O.A.C. is advertising, having got rid of first-class material in men who are flying with other airlines now. Is this planning?

Mr. Stonehouse

The position regarding senior flight captains was the responsibility of B.O.A.C. In any case, the recruiting now is for young pilots.

Mr. Bishop

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the local authorities are doing all they can to assist applicants who want this training? Is he satisfied that there is an adequate supply of instructors available for tuition in this respect?

Mr. Stonehouse

I hope that the municipalities will be encouraged to put forward the names of prospective students. In answer to my hon. Friend's second point, I am satisfied that enough facilities in that regard are being provided.