80. Dr. Bennett
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what has been the reason for the exceptional amount of low flying by aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm around Lee-on-Solent in recent weeks, causing annoyance to householders, when organised low flying is not part of the review arrangements and when undertakings have been given that squadron practices of low circuits and simulated approaches to flight-decks would be carried out at Royal Naval Air Station, Ford, not Lee.
§ Mr. J. P. L. Thomas
Unfortunately, the concentration of aircraft at Lee-on-Solent for the Review of the Fleet coincided with a period of unfavourable weather. In particular, a persistent northerly wind limited the use of runways in such a way as to make disturbance to local residents inevitable.
I regret the inconvenience caused by these activities, but they were an essential preparation for the naval fly-past which formed a notable feature of the Review. The flying task of the air station has now returned to normal.
Although much of the flying involving simulated approaches to flight decks has been transferred to the Royal Naval Air Station at Ford, it is impossible to avoid the use of Lee-on-Solent for this purpose at times.