Mr. C. Orr-Ewing
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what steps he has taken to get the international acceptance date for the American short-range navigational system known as VOR postponed; what is the proposed new date; and if he will give an assurance that he will not acquiesce in accepting the system whilst it is still unproved.
§ Mr. Beswick
A draft standard specifying the design and use of the short range navigational system known as VOR was adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 1949 and 1st March, 1950, was set as the date by which member States of the Organisation could 17W register their disapproval of that standard. An unusually long disapproval period was set to enable member States to receive and evaluate certain information on the performance of the VOR derived from trials to be undertaken in the meanwhile. Failing majority disapproval, draft I.C.A.O. standards are deemed to be automatically adopted.
The information about the VOR trials was incomplete by the disapproval date, and the United Kingdom representative consulted with representatives of other member States with the object of having the "disapproval" date postponed until 18W such time as there was complete information which would indicate the full technical and operational capabilities of the system. There was no support for this view and the standard was, therefore, formally adopted by I.C.A.O. as from 1st March, 1950.
Failing postponement, the United Kingdom formally expressed its disapproval of the standard, and so far as international agreements are concerned the matter rests there. His Majesty's Government retains freedom to define its policy in relation to the VOR as and when more complete information on the performance of the system becomes available.