HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 cc161-2W
Mr. Lucas

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what instructions he has issued regarding the use of London Airport by privately-owned and company-owned aircraft which are suitably equipped; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

A Notice to Airmen has been issued which amends the local flying restrictions applying to London Airport, which are set out in the Air Pilot. The amendment states that London Airport is normally restricted to aircraft operated on scheduled services, but that the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation is prepared to consider individual applications from operators who are unable to use other aerodromes in the London area or who have a special reason for wishing to use London Airport.

Applications under the above clause should be made to the Airport Commandant during normal working hours and at other times to Air Traffic Control. Except in special circumstances, at least 24 hours' notice should be given. Applications in respect of single-engined aircraft or for flights for recreational purposes will not normally be granted.

The earlier, more restrictive instructions were designed to ensure that during the time when extensive construction was proceeding at the airport only those aircraft which were scheduled into the airport should use it and that only in exceptional cases should operators not familiar with the aerodrome be permitted to land. Now that all the main runways have been completed and the new tower and radio facilities are in operation, I am glad to be able to make it easier for bona fide commercial flights to make use of the airport. Nevertheless, in view of the intense use made of the airport at certain times of the day I have still considered it necessary to ensure that permission is sought on each occasion.