§ 3. Mr. Strauss
asked the Minister of Aviation what action he proposes to take in view of the rejection by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation of the Decca landing aid in favour of the United States landing aids V.O.R. and D.M.E. as the international standard.
§ Mr. Sandys
The technical advice I have received has convinced me that an air navigational equipment like Decca, which continuously traces the aircraft's course on the pilot's chart, is superior to a system like D.M.E. and V.O.R., which provides him only with range and bearing to a beacon. Unfortunately, we were outvoted at the recent Council meeting. But we shall naturally respect the decision. At the same time, we shall continue, in the interests of safety, to urge the need for a course tracing system, on the Decca principle, particularly in areas of dense air traffic.
§ Mr. Strauss
When the right hon. Gentleman says he accepts the decision, does it mean that in future our aircraft will be fitted with the American system rather than the Decca? In view of the fact that the decision appears to have been a political one in defiance of the technical merits of the two systems, is it not possible for the Government, in 670 co-operation with many other countries which think that our system is the best, to arrange for them to work together and, if necessary, go it alone in defiance of the ridiculous decision taken by the Council?
§ Mr. Sandys
I have a good deal of sympathy with what the right hon. Gentleman said, but he can speak, perhaps, rather more freely than I can on these matters. AH I would say is that if we join an international organisation and it takes a decision we do not like we must respect it or break up the whole organisation; therefore, we shall naturally support this decision. Our aircraft will, of course, have to have this equipment when they go into areas which are equipped in this way, for it is no good having a Decca system if there is no Decca organisation in that area; but I would say this to the right hon. Gentleman, that we believe that some system of this kind will be very necessary for the new European air traffic control system which is coming into being, and we believe that there is a good deal of common feeling on this subject by other European continental countries.