HC Deb 18 March 1959 vol 602 cc394-5
29. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many persons are employed by his Department at Belfast Airport; their occupations; and the total annual cost.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. John Hay)

At Belfast (Nutts Corner) Airport, our Department employs 179 staff to perform the functions of management, air traffic control, telecommunications, constabulary and fire services. The annual cost of salaries and wages is about £143,000.

30. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is now in a position to make a statement about the future of Belfast Airport.

65. Mr. Knox Cunningham

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will state the policy of his Department with regard to the future of Nutts Corner Airport in County Antrim.

Mr. Hay

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Air, has agreed, in the light of a recent reappraisal of military plans, that a study should be made of the possibility of joint user of the R.A.F. Station at Aldergrove. The joint study bas already been started, and will be completed with all possible speed.

Captain Orr

We are glad to hear that this study has been started, but is my hon. Friend aware that there is need for a fairly quick decision, as the provision of a first-class airport for Belfast has been held up for quite a long time?

Mr. Hay

Yes. We are, indeed, very well aware of that, and we will do what we can to get an early decision on the matter.

Mr. Knox Cunningham

In considering the amalgamation of the two airfields, will my hon. Friend take steps to avoid any redundancy among those employed there?

Mr. Hay

That is a rather different question. We certainly would not wish to get rid of people who are doing useful work, but it may well be that, in the circumstances of a possible change-over of this kind, we might have to reduce the number of staff. But that is one of the questions that will have to be looked into in this study.