HC Deb 28 March 1961 vol 637 cc122-3W
Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement about the progress in experiments with airfield fog dispersal.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I have for some time been considering the possibilities of installing a fog dispersal system on one runway at London (Heathrow) Airport, based on an improved version of the wartime F.I.D.O. An Air Ministry requirement for a similar system at R.A.F. airfields was cancelled towards the end of 1959 because of the progress made with automatic landing for R.A.F. V-bombers and transport aircraft.

It has now been decided that no useful purpose would be served in attempting to install F.I.D.O. at London Airport. The essential preliminary trials have throughout been severely delayed owing to difficulties in achieving an effective experimental installation. Allowing time for the completion of these trials, and for design and construction, it is unlikely that a London Airport system could be in operation before 1965, by which time it could have only a limited useful life in view of the progress expected in the development of automatic landing systems for civil use. Capital and operating costs would be very high, and would necessitate charges heavier than the airline operators would be prepared to pay.