Low Flying, Purley.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Aviation. – in the House of Commons on 27th July 1938.

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Photo of Sir Richard Meller Sir Richard Meller , Mitcham

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether his attention has been called to the low flying of a Belgian aeroplane over Ridge Park, Purley, on Thursday evening, 21st July, when it is alleged to have skimmed over one house and dived between two houses opposite; and what steps he proposes to take to stop this danger to life and property?

Captain Balfour:

Yes, Sir. In the condition of wind prevailing at the time aircraft landing at the airport have necessarily to make a relatively low final approach over Ridge Park. I will, however, take up the matter with the operating company concerned.

Photo of Sir Richard Meller Sir Richard Meller , Mitcham

Having regard to the frequency of complaints of low flying in this area, will the Minister consider the advisability of setting up a more effective form of control than at present exists?

Photo of Mr Charles Emmott Mr Charles Emmott , Surrey Eastern

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that this low flying is a matter of very real complaint in this neighbourhood, and can he hold out some hope that measures will soon be devised to prevent it?

Captain Balfour:

As regards the last supplementary question, both my hon. Friends know that I convened a meeting of all the operating managers and asked them to meet the local residents, and that exchange of views took place as to the technical difficulties of the operating companies and the position of the local residents. As regards this particular incident, it is very difficult indeed when the wind is in this direction, to avoid low flying because a low approach must be made to prevent over-running. Quite recently there was an example of overrunning, when an air liner ran down the slope into the boundary fence, when the wind was in this particular direction.

Photo of Sir Richard Meller Sir Richard Meller , Mitcham

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that the complaints arise in respect of foreign machines and not of English machines.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

Surely my hon. and gallant Friend must realise that Croydon is now no longer suitable for an aerodrome?