Aircraft (Terrain Avoidance Systems)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th April 1964.

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Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 15th April 1964

asked the Minister of Aviation what studies are being undertaken into the feasibility of terrain avoidance systems, with a view to reducing accidents involving civil transport aircraft.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

Terrain avoidance equipment is being developed for military use and the possibility of civil application will be kept under review.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Does not the hon.. Gentle-man worry about the fact that at the present stage of aviation development west ill cannot always fly over a hill in safety? Can he say what part the computer is playing in reducing the danger Presented by high ground? Can he tell me why these safety devices can be built into military aircraft, such as the TSR2which has to fly at low levels, and yet not into civil aircraft?

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

The answer to the first question is that the best safeguards against collisions with high ground are good crew training, good crew discipline and procedures, and good navigational approach aids on the ground and in the aircraft. The equipments in the TSR2and so on are for terrain following and not precisely for terrain avoidance, which is of a lesser category. This is an entirely new art and we are early on in its development. That is why I said that we would keep it under review and that if we could apply it in the interests of the safety of civil aircraft, we would do so.