§ Mr. James Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will now make a statement on the future use of the Royal Air Force airfield at Leconfield for scheduled civil air services on a continuing basis.
§ Mr. Reynolds
It is the practice of the Ministry of Defence whenever possible to permit the civil use of R.A.F. airfields. However, with the concentration of our forces in this country and the greater need for range training time, increasing use is planned for the Cowden Range by the new types of R.A.F. aircraft coming into service and the necessary low level approaches to the range are incompatible with continuous scheduled civil movements at Leconfield.
This long-term defence need would restrict the availability of the airfield for scheduled civil services to Saturdays and Sundays and to the period between 6.30 p.m. and 9 a.m. on other days throughout the year. It is for local interests and potential operators to decide whether, within these times, a viable service could be operated.