HC Deb 21 November 1956 vol 560 cc1737-8
19. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many passengers have been carried to and from Scottish airports during the present year to the most convenient date; and what percentage increase or decrease has been recorded compared with the same period last year.

Mr. Profumo

During the eight months period, January—August, 1956, the number of passengers carried to and from aerodromes in Scotland was 642,000, including those in transit. This is an increase of 21 per cent. over the number for the corresponding period of 1955.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Joint Parliamentary Secretary aware that this magnificent progress in Scottish air services underlines the extremely anomalous position in the Dundee area, which is now the only major centre of population in Scotland without any civil air service at all?

Mr. Profumo

I do agree that it has been magnificent progress, but I do not really think the conclusion can be drawn from what I have said that there is necessarily enough traffic offering in Dundee to warrant a service, and I must agree with what my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air said in reply to an earlier Question.

Sir T. Moore

Could my hon. Friend say what proportion of these passengers have been carried to and from the international airport at Prestwick?

Mr. Profumo

Without notice, I am afraid that I cannot give that answer.

Mr. Woodburn

In view of the development of Festival traffic, is there a prospect of getting better landing aids at Edinburgh, and at other airports of lesser standing than Prestwick?

Mr. Profumo

That is, if I may say so, a good comment. My right hon. Friend is always trying to do his best to improve all the technical aids anywhere.

Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

Will my hon. Friend remember the question of traffic from Perth as well as Dundee?

Mr. Profumo

I rather gathered that what the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) asked was in consort with my hon. and gallant Friend's views, too.