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Maintenance Services (Spare Parts)

Volume 439: debated on Wednesday 9 July 1947

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20.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what steps are being taken to ensure that an adequate service of spare parts is readily available for the maintenance of civil aircraft so that unnecessary delays of several days, such as that caused to B.E.A.C. aircraft scheduled to leave Athens on Saturday, 10th May, but delayed until Friday, 16th May, and the consequent inconvenience caused to passengers, will in future be avoided.

The maintenance of their aircraft is a matter for the management of the three statutory British Airways Corporations and they, like other operators, place their orders for spares direct with the manufacturers.

Is it not the responsibility of the Minister to see that the service of spare parts to this Corporation is satisfactory? Is he aware that it took nearly a week for the small spare part to reach Athens from England? Is not that disgraceful?

When we are appealed to by either the Corporation, or the charter companies, we give every assistance. This case concerned a Dakota aircraft, for which spares are often secured only by "cannibalisation." The general position in regard to spares for Dakota aircraft is very difficult.

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that the spare part in this case was available in Britain, and that it took nearly a week to get to Athens, when aircraft were flying there every day?

Will the hon. Gentleman consult the Ministry of Supply, and review the whole question of spares for aeroplanes and tool kits? Is he aware that new British aircraft are not supplied with tool kits when going abroad?

That matter is being discussed by the Minister and the Ministry of Supply.

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the arbitrary limit, in terms of dollars, for spare parts for Dakotas still exists?

The limit still exists, but the trouble is the actual availability of spares for an obsolete type of aircraft.