Records created or inherited by the Ministry of Aviation and successors, the Air Registration Board, and related bodies
Records created or inherited by the Ministry of Aircraft Production, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Aviation and successors, and related bodies pertaining to aircraft production and civil aviation responsibilities, including records passed to the Ministry of Aviation from the Ministry of Supply (SUPP).
Comprises general records relating to aircraft supply, production, research, development and civil aviation, records of experimental and research establishments, records of the Air Transport Auxiliary, records of the British Air Commission, records of the Air Registration Board and private office papers.
Air Registration Board, 1937-1973
Air Transport Licensing Board, 1960-1972
Board of Trade, 1786-1970
Ministry of Aircraft Production, 1940-1945
Ministry of Aviation, 1959-1967
Ministry of Aviation Supply, 1970-1971
Ministry of Civil Aviation, 1945-1953
Ministry of Supply, 1939-1959
Ministry of Supply and Aircraft Production, 1945-1946
Ministry of Technology, 1964-1970
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, 1953-1959
Before 1914 responsibility for regulation of civil flying rested with the Home Office. At the outbreak of the First World War civil aviation was prohibited. After the war, under the Air Navigation Act 1919 it became the concern of the Air Ministry; and in 1920 responsibility for aircraft production reverted to the Ministry.
Within the Ministry a separate department dealt with civil aviation; in 1936 the department was expanded but under the Air Navigation Act of that year certain regulatory functions connected with civil aircraft were delegated to a newly-constituted Air Registration Board.
In May 1940 responsibility for aircraft production passed to the new Ministry of Aircraft Production; then in 1946 to the Ministry of Supply.
By the Ministry of Civil Aviation Act 1945 responsibility for the control of civil aviation was transferred to the new Ministry; then in October 1953 the Ministry was merged with the Ministry of Transport to form the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.
The Ministry of Aviation was established under the Minister of Aviation Order 1959 (SI 1959/1768) which transferred to the Minister of Supply all functions in respect of civil aviation of the former Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation and changed the style and title of the Minister of Supply to the Minister of Aviation.
Between July and December 1966 civil aviation functions of this ministry were transferred in stages to the Board of Trade. The Ministry of Aviation was abolished by the transfer of its remaining functions in February 1967 to the Ministry of Technology.
On the merger of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Technology in October 1970 to form the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the new department took over all the Board of Trade's civil aviation functions. In April 1972, most civil aviation regulatory functions were transferred to the new Civil Aviation Authority. The DTI continued to exercise responsibility for the policy, development and international relations aspects of civil aviation, and the Accidents Investigation Branch. The work of the Air Registration Board was transferred to the new Civil Aviation Authority in 1972.
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