Portsmouth Airport (Aircraft Accidents)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 22nd November 1967

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on the two aircraft mishaps at Portsmouth Airport on Tuesday 15th August last, and on any relevant implications for similar small airports elsewhere in Great Britain.

Photo of Mr Joseph Mallalieu Mr Joseph Mallalieu , Huddersfield East

Two HS.748 aircraft of Channel Airways were damaged when they overran the boundary after landing on wet grass. The accidents are being investigated and reports will be published. As a precaution immediate action was taken to apply larger safety margins for landings at Portsmouth and operators have been advised to allow for larger landing distances on wet grass elsewhere. Further study is in hand to determine what if any new limits should be prescribed for this and other aircraft at other grass airfields.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the fact that a major disaster did not take place could almost be described as miraculous? Does he not agree also that, in view of the density of urban development in Britain and the limited air space available, there must be a strict comprehensive plan soon for the development of airports throughout the country and of internal air services?

Photo of Mr Joseph Mallalieu Mr Joseph Mallalieu , Huddersfield East

The last point raises an entirely different question. The steps which have been taken now will certainly prevent any recurrence of this disaster at Portsmouth.