Eurocontrol Convention

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 28th November 1960

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement concerning the main provisions of the Euro-control Convention.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

The Eurocontrol Convention provides for the setting up of a permanent Commission for the safety of air navigation, and an air traffic services agency which will be responsible for providing air traffic control service in the upper air-space of France, the Benelux countries, Western Germany and the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Is this convention solely concerned with control in the upper air space? I gather from two replies made by the right hon. Gentleman that this is the part which is to be emphasised. Does he realise that within the airways up to the height of 25,000 feet the continuing crossing and passing along those airways by military aircraft are a source of continual danger to civil aircraft?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I am well aware of this problem, which I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air are tackling urgently in this country. But the hon. Gentleman is quite right—Eurocontrol is primarily concerned with the control of the upper air-space.

Photo of Mr George Chetwynd Mr George Chetwynd , Stockton-on-Tees

What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by upper airspace? How high is the limit?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

In the case of this country, it is over 25,000 feet, but for other Eurocontrol countries it is over 20,000 feet.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

In view of that, what steps is the Minister taking to secure protection for civil air passengers at the lower limits in the airways?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

The first step to take is to make quite certain that in this country we are taking all the urgent steps which are required to have a fully integrated civil-military system for the control both of civil and military aircraft.

In consultation with my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air, we are, I am happy to say, progressing very rapidly towards that situation.