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Helicopters (Safety)

Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are the current regulations or other rules in respect of authorised helicopter air corridors over built-up area of London, other than those designated over or near to the River Thames; and if he will make a statement concerning helicopter safety in the London area.

The general arrangements for the regulation and routing of helicopter flights in the London area are matters which fall within the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority and I have drawn the attention of the Chairman of the Authority to my hon. Friend's inquiry. With regard to the safety of helicopter flights in the London area, this is also a matter for Authority, and I have been assured that the helicopter route structure in the London control zone has been designed to ensure that in the event of a failure of a power unit a helicopter can alight in an open space. In the Greater London area, as in other built-up areas, helicopters are required to fly at a specified height, clear of obstacles, from which they can alight without danger to persons or property on the surface in the event of a power unit failure. These requirements have been satisfactory but, nevertheless, the subject is kept under continuous review.