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Navigation School, Bishops Court (Closure)

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when he intends that flying duties shall be discontinued at Bishops Court, County Down; what estimate he has made of the effect upon local employment; and what his plans are for the future of this airfield.

The Air Navigation School at Bishops Court will be closing down in April. The station will then be placed on a care and maintenance basis, though the possibility of using it for another purpose later on will be kept in mind. We shall still need a small number of the civilians at present employed there, and it may be possible to offer a few of the remainder employment at other Royal Air Force stations in Northern Ireland.

When my hon. Friend is deciding the future of the airfield, will he bear in mind the very grave unemployment situation which exists in that part of the world?

Yes, Sir. We have taken that very much into consideration, but we must also take into consideration the fact that at Bishops Court there are only temporary buildings and no married quarters and that it is badly situated geographically for navigation training.

Has my hon. Friend received any communications from the Government of Northern Ireland on this subject?