HC Deb 23 October 1961 vol 646 c19W
Mr. Snow

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he is aware of the need for a speedy reconciliation of the rights of charter companies and the need to protect the public against contravention or inadequate safety control by such charter companies; and, in view of the delay in dealing with cases involving air transport safety and the publication of findings by his Inspectorate, whether he will institute a Departmental inquiry to examine the American method, operated by the Federal Aviation Agency, whereby speedier findings are published and action taken against delinquent air transport companies.

Mr. Thorneycroft

To meet this need, all operators of public transport aircraft of more than 5,000 lb. weight have, since March of this year, been required to obtain from my Director of Aviation Safety, an air operators' certificate that they are competent to operate services safely. The standards of the certificate are enforced by my inspectors and those of the Air Registration Board as regards training, maintenance and operating practices generally. The certificate system has already had beneficial results and will assist operators in securing a progressive raising of safety standards.

Accident investigation, including methods followed abroad, has recently been most thoroughly reviewed by an independent Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice Cairns, whose Report was published on 1st March last. The Report does not suggest that the adoption of different methods in this country would result in speedier findings.