asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on how many occasions Royal Naval helicopters have been used for transportation purposes to or from built-up areas near the centre of London; and what safety precautions are required to be observed.
On seven occasions since October, 1952. The aircraft observes the precautions laid down by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation for a civil helicopter and, when in flight, follows the line of the river to the maximum extent practicable.
Does the Minister feel that any unreasonable risks were taken when an helicopter landed in the region of Green Park and, if not, would he have a word with his right hon. Friend and, from the experience gained by single-engined helicopters of the Royal Navy, indicate to him that the fears about the unreliability of helicopters does not appear to be as great as he seems to think?
I do not think that helicopters are unreliable. I will certainly bear in mind the points which the hon. Gentleman has raised.