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Tuesday, 9 September 1958

Mr Peters s asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   Have commercial flying schools and Royal Aero Clubs had their subsidies reduced by 75 per cent, and 25 per cent., respectively?

2.   If so, what is the justification of (a) the reductions generally and (b) the large and discriminatory reduction made in the case of the commercial schools?

3.   Will he furnish a return showing (a) the value received by the nation in the form of pilots trained to licence standard by (i) the Royal Aero Clubs and (ii) the commercial flying schools, and (b) the number of hours occupied in training such pilots?

4.   What is the cost per head (a) for training by each organization and (b) subsidies granted to each organization?

Mr Townley - The Minister for Civil Aviation has replied as follows: -

1.   In 1956-57, the Government decided to make the sum of £145,000 per annum available for assistance to flying training for a period of five years. In 1957-58 this amount was divided, £137,000 to the aero clubs and £8,000 to the commercial flying schools. The allocation for 1958-59 has been fixed on the basis of actual performance during the year ended 31st December, 1957, at £126,400 and £18.600 respectively. The allocation to the areo clubs includes not only the Royal Aero Clubs mentioned in the question but also a considerable number of aero clubs operating in the less densely populated areas of the Commonwealth. During 1957-58 both the aero clubs and the schools received a pro-rata payment of 76.2 per cent, of claims submitted.

2.   The volume of flying conducted and the number of licences obtained by both the aero clubs and the commercial flying schools necessitated a cut on claims to contain total expenditure within the amount available, namely £145,000. The reduction was proportionately the same for both the aero clubs and the flying schools. 3 and 4. During 1957-58 the aero clubs obtained 323 private, 146 commercial and 29 instructor licences, total 498. During the same period the commercial schools obtained 60 private, 27 commercial and eight instructor licences, total 93. Figures are not available indicating the hours occupied in training pilots in the various categories. The total payments to the aero clubs and to the flying schools are set out in (1) above and the total hours flown by the aero clubs on all classes of flying during the year was 93,907 and the total hours flown by the commercial schools on flying training only was 12,881.

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