HC Deb 18 February 1963 vol 672 cc18-9
29. Mr. Bottomley

asked the Minister of Aviation whether it has now been decided to establish an airport on Tees-side.

Mr. Amery

There are difficult problems of air traffic control is trying to meet the R.A.F. requirements at Middleton St. George and at the same time providing for civil airlines' scheduled services. Scheduled is a word which I would underline. I am, however, examining with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air whether it would be practicable to extend the present facilities for civil aircraft at this particular airfield.

Mr. Bottomley

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether it is possible for him to give further consideration to transferring the whole of the R.A.F. station over to civil purposes?

Mr. Amery

I will certainly draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to what the right hon. Gentleman has just said. It is a rather difficult problem.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this question has been asked on several occasions during the past ten years and that we have always had the reply that there are difficulties and obstacles in the way—for example, difficulties about Customs—and now there are said to be difficulties on various grounds? Is it not about time that Tees-side was provided with an adequate air service? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have no adequate air service on the North-East Coast at all, even at Wolsingham in Northumberland?

Mr. Amery

I assure the right hon. Gentleman that this is a very difficult question. I remember that about a year ago the Minister of Aviation asked a Question of the Secretary of State for Air on the subject, and the Secretary of State for Air returned an answer which I am not sure the present Minister of Aviation would very much like.