asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation when he expects the Princess flying-boat to be coming into service; and what arrangements he has made to keep the bases and expert men that this aircraft will require.
Present indications are that the Princess flying-boat should be ready for service in 1953. Southampton Marine Airport (Berth 50) is being kept by my Department on a care and maintenance basis, whilst such existing marine equipment and facilities as are considered suitable for the Princess are being preserved. The British Overseas Airways Corporation are similarly maintaining their Hythe base, and are retaining a nucleus of staff with experience of flying-boat operations.
Is the base for this flying-boat likely to be moved from Hythe to Calshot?
Will not these flying-boats be flying long before 1953—next year, in fact, if their engines are ready?
In that case, of course, they would not necessarily be wanting an international airport. Other water is available for them.