§ 31. Mr. Matthews
asked the Minister of Aviation whether it is intended to continue with the plans for extending the main runway at Birmingham Airport, in view of the recent development of jet-propelled vertical take-off aircraft.
§ Mr. Rippon
My right hon. Friend has so far received no proposals from the Birmingham Corporation, who own and operate the airport.
§ Mr. Matthews
Is my hon. Friend aware that residents in Marston Green and the neighbouring housing estates are strongly opposed to what they believe to be an extension of Birmingham Airport near to the built-up area and that the main runway is already dangerously near to the houses in Elmdon Lane? Is he also aware that plans for the extension of the airport may be obsolete in view of the development of vertical take-off aircraft?
§ Mr. Rippon
I was not aware of these matters, which were not referred to in the Question. As I indicated, this is really a matter in the first instance for the corporation which owns and operates the airport. As far as vertical take-off aircraft are concerned, I would not have thought that they had reached the stage of development where this was a relevant factor in considering the length of the runways.