§ 83. Mr. Costain
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the average time taken to mount a rescue operation for light aircraft in the Light Aircraft Channel from Folkestone to Gris Nez.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The decision to mount a rescue operation for a missing aircraft is normally made by the R.A.F. 105W Rescue Co-ordination Centre to which distress calls are referred by the police, air traffic control or other authorities. In a clear cut case the decision is telephoned to the Station at once. In both the incidents in which an R.A.F. search and rescue operation has been mounted since the Light Aircraft Channel was established in 1961, helicopters were airborne in less than 15 minutes from the time when the call for help was received at the Station.