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Helicopter Service, Wales

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1950

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7.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether British European Airways Corporation will maintain the present Welsh helicopter service and extend it to Bangor amongst other places.

The helicopter cannot yet be regarded as a fully developed medium of commercial air transport. The Welsh service was an experiment, to obtain, under particular conditions of operation, information essential to further development. By next spring the helicopter development programme will probably require that routes with different characteristics should be explored. The possibility of retaining the Welsh service with fixed wing aircraft will be further considered when it is known whether the application now before the Air Transport Advisory Council, of a charter company to operate the route under associate agreement with British European Airways Corporation, has been successful.

Can the hon. Gentleman give the House a guarantee that the existing service will not be abandoned until a commercial rather than an experimental helicopter has been put into service?

It is not within my power to give the hon. Gentleman a guarantee. If I may, I would suggest, in return, that the hon. Gentleman guarantees that whatever service is instituted there, will be patronised.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether British European Airways have considered the possibility of extending this service between Wales and London as a further experiment?

That service has been considered, but it is not a feasible proposition at the moment.