HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 cc880-1
16. Mr. Hooson

asked the Minister of State for Defence how many complaints he has received during the months of July, August and September concerning objections to low-flying aircraft for which he has responsibility in the mid-Wales area.

Mr. Lambton

During the period July to September (inclusive) 1971, 41 complaints were addressed to the Ministry of Defence concerning military low-flying activities over the counties of Merioneth, Montgomery, Cardigan, Radnor and Brecknock.

Mr. Hooson

Is the Minister aware that these low-flying aircraft are causing disturbance? There are many reports of children, adults and animals being severely frightened by them. Does he realise that public resentment towards this activity is growing? Can anything be done to modify it?

Mr. Lambton

This is a perennial problem. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman realises the great difficulties that the Air Force has in finding somewhere to train. All the flights are regulated and every attention is paid to each complaint.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is not only in Wales that the problem arises. I fully appreciate the need for low-flying exercises, but would it be possible for advance notice to be given to affected areas, say, 24 hours in advance?

Mr. Lambton

I do not think that would be possible, due to the vagaries of the weather.

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