HC Deb 29 January 1947 vol 432 c202W
82. Mr. Wadsworth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation the reasons for the abandonment of the aerodrome and flying-boat base in Gambia by B.S.A.A., and in the near future by B.O.A.C., in favour of a French base within one hundred miles.

Mr. Lindgren

The flying boat base which was established for military purposes during the war was, of course, manned by the Royal Air Force, and the staff has been withdrawn since there are no proposals for regular flying boat operations to or through West Africa. As regards landplane operations, British South American Airways' decision to divert their services to Dakar was occasioned by the reduction on demobilisation of the skilled Royal Air Force operating and maintenance staff at the aerodrome. Further, there are concrete runways at Dakar constructed during the war while the runways at Yundum, the land airport in Gambia, are of pierced steel planking.

The British Overseas Airways Corporation Dakota service to West Africa is still operating through Yundum and there is no immediate intention of transferring it to Dakar. The question of the staging posts to be used as and when new and larger types of aircraft are introduced into service is under consideration. It is, of course, my noble Friend's desire that so far as practicable, British services should operate through airports in British territory.