asked the Minister of Civil Aviation what tests over water of helicopters for civil aviation have been carried out; how far these have proved satisfactory; and what further similar tests are proposed.
Existing civil helicopters of the single-engined type are not suitable for public transport operations over water and, therefore, no tests have been made. None is contemplated until a suitable type of helicopter becomes available.
I am looking ahead a little. In view of the fact that islands like the Hebrides and Shetlands are places which desperately need helicopters because other aircraft are unable to land there, would the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that early tests will be made as soon as a suitable type of helicopter is available?
I can assure the hon. Member that my hon. Friend is aware of the importance of investigating the possible use of helicopters for this service as early as is practicable.
Has the hon. Gentleman considered the use of helicopters for civil aviation generally for the North of Scotland, quite apart from their use over water?
The use of helicopters for all civil aviation purpose is very much in the mind of the Minister at the present moment.