22 January 2013: Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the extent of helicopter flights over central London.
Earl Attlee: My Lords, helicopter operations in central London are strictly controlled, and last week's accident was the first fatal helicopter accident in London since civil aviation records began in 1976. We are waiting for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch to complete its investigation to ensure that the reasons for the accident are understood before we consider whether any further measures are necessary. There is no reason to believe that helicopter operations over London are unsafe.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, the safety record of helicopter flying in London has indeed been very good, as the Minister said, but does he not agree that the number of new high-rise buildings around Vauxhall Cross has made the approach to Battersea heliport increasingly hazardous? Can he give an assurance that the inquiry into last week's accident, which could have been so much worse, will include consideration of whether that heliport should continue to operate?
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