§ 11.11 a.m.
My Lords, would it be in order for me to ask the Questions standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, as the noble Lord is not here, so that the Answers may appear in the OFFICIAL REPORT rather sooner than they will if we do not deal with the Question to-day?
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (THE EARL OF LONGFORD)
My Lords, I think the answer must be that the decision lies with the House. I should hope that it would be in order, unless the House thinks otherwise.
Then, my Lords, may I beg leave of the House to ask the first Question which stands in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, on the Order Paper?
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is their intention to require co-pilots of aircraft above 12,500 lb. and less than 45,000 lb. all-up weight to hold airline transport pilots' licences, as opposed to commercial pilots' licences called for under existing regulations.]1923
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, BOARD OF TRADE (LORD RHODES)
My Lords, I am very glad that the noble Lord stepped in and has given me the opportunity to answer, as I have done a lot of work on this Question. Furthermore, I must declare a kind of remote interest, because I am a member of a flying club which could be affected by the Question which follows this one.
In answer to the first Question, the Civil Aviation Department of the Board of Trade has recently requested the views of airline operators and others on the question of raising the qualifications of co-pilots of large public transport aircraft. The significance of the proposed changes is, first, that for any public transport aircraft above 5,000 lb. all-up weight the co-pilot must have the same aircraft type rating on his licence in respect of the type of aircraft concerned as the captain. Secondly, for public transport aircraft over 45,000 lb. all-up weight the co-pilot must possess a senior commercial pilot's licence or an airline transport pilot's licence. The comments of the bodies consulted will naturally be taken into account before any changes are made in the statutory requirements.
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend I thank the noble Lord very much for burning the midnight oil; although, as he is fully aware, the Answer is far beyond my head.
§ LORD WILLIAMSON
My Lords, is my noble friend aware that to-day is a very important day for him, in so far as it is his birthday, and also his wedding anniversary, and that we should all like to offer to himself and to his good lady our very good wishes and hearty congratulations?
§ LORD ERROLL OF HALE
My Lords, may I, on behalf of noble Lords on this side of the House, offer equally cordial greetings to a Minister who is very much a friend of this House?
§ LORD RHODES
My Lords, I receive those greetings in the spirit in which they were given, which was very nice indeed, and I hope that they are a precursor to a speedy conclusion of our Business.