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Volume 530: debated on Wednesday 21 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what action he proposes to take to ensure that helicopter development and route flying experience is obtained in Scotland without undue delay to enable full use to be made of this form of transportation as soon as possible after the experimental period is over.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
(Mr. John Profumo)

In view of the present relatively high cost of helicopter operations, the experimental programme cannot be extended without incurring unjustifiable expense to the taxpayer.

Is not the Minister aware that in Scotland there is great interest in helicopters? In order to stimulate development, which is always costly, would he not try a few experimental flights between Edinburgh or Glasgow and the more inaccessible parts, like the Western Isles, because many American tourists would pay a lot of money to go on one or two of them?

I am aware of the very widespread interest in helicopters all over the British Isles, but the problems of helicopter flying in particular areas, once the basic problems have been resolved, will probably be overcome in the course of operation and will not of themselves require a separate experimental programme?