asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how far, by its terms of reference and its constitution under the Civil Aviation (Air Transport Advisory Council) Order, 1947, the Air Transport Advisory Council is expected to make a physical inspection of facilities and services provided by air operators; and what is its present practice in this matter.
Would it not be a rather good idea if they did? I am not criticising anybody, but with the enormous growth of the independent air operators' work in the last four or five years, would it not be a good thing if there were occasional checks on the standard of service, punctuality, and so on which they provide? Might it not be a useful check now that they are going so far?
Of course, my own Department carries out that kind of check and has only recently carried out checks on quite a number of independent airlines, as part of its normal duties. I will draw what the hon. Gentleman has said to the attention of the Council, but I think that, on the whole, working in with my Department, the inspections are carried out with reasonable regularity.