HC Deb 04 July 1967 vol 749 cc1595-6
Dr. Dickson Mabon

I beg to move Amendment No. 18, in page 9, line 24, at the end to insert: within the meaning of the Civil Aviation Act 1949 as extended by the Airports Authority Act 1965. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) during the fifth sitting of the Committee raised a point about unlicensed airfields and gliding sites. I said that this was covered by the definitions in these Acts. I have given a little more thought to this point and I think it should be put into the Bill. We are thereby bringing heliports in as well as gliding sites, in which the hon. Member has a distinct and personal interest.

Mr. Hector Monro (Dumfries)

I thank the Minister for the trouble he has taken over what may seem a small point. However, when one bears in mind the great development of gliding and aviation in the years to come it is important that we should get it right.

The definition of "aerodromes" in the Airports Authority Act, 1965, refers to facilities for the landing and departure of aircraft capable of descending or climbing vertically. That is clear enough, but there is some doubt nationally whether a hovercraft is a boat or an aeroplane. I do not think that one can say that hovercraft descend or climb vertically. Later today we will be making a hovercraft into a boat, but this seems to be ahead of thought in most of the other legislation which is going through the House. I should be interested to know why the Minister is putting hovercraft in this category.

Whereas we deal in the Bill with noise in relation to hovercraft, I feel that in our deliberations consideration should have been given to hovercraft being allowed to remain in peace on the ground and not be chased around by tourists and visitors. There is a certain amount of difficulty about the category into which a hovercraft should fall and whether this Amendment will cover its operations on the ground.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I do not think that we ought to debate Amendment No. 32 at this stage. I am advised that hovercraft should be covered by Amendment No. 32 and we ought not to mention hovercraft in Amendment No. 18. Naturally, I bow to the advice of experts, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman does.

Amendment agreed to.