§ 14. Mr. Millan
asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement on his discussions with the airlines and aerodrome owners, including local authorities, regarding his proposed new airport charges.
§ Mr. Amery
A statement was issued at the conclusion of a meeting which I 390 held with the airlines and aerodrome owners on 18th February. This stated that in the light of the representation then made I had decided to postpone the new arrangements until 1st November, 1964. I will with permission circulate the text in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Millan
What has happened since February? Has the right hon. Gentleman had discussions with the municipal airport owners? Is it not clear that the proposed new charges would have a very serious economic effect on municipal airports since they would lose the passenger service charges, would gain nothing from the technical service charges and would be inhibited from making an appropriate adjustment to their landing fees? In particular, do not the new charges very seriously change the economics of the proposed transfer of Abbots-inch Airport to Glasgow Corporation? Would the right hon. Gentleman say what discussions he has had with Glasgow Corporation in the matter?
§ Mr. Amery
We had full discussions in February and have had a number of consultations since then. We are receiving delegations from Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool this month. I understand that they wish to discuss further the effect of the new charges. It is right that we should seek to recover the additional cost of the technical services. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not wish to continue the passenger service charge, which has been a tiresome irritant for a number of years.
§ Mr. Millan
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one does not mind changes being made in the charges provided that they are not done at the expense of the municipal airport? Is he aware that the new proposals of the Ministry, which are a complete contradiction of the previous policy of imposing only a single landing fee, look rather like a device by the Ministry of Aviation to recover technical service charges not at the expense of the airline operators but at the expense of the municipal airport owners? That is what I am complaining about.
The Press statement was as follows:The Minister of Aviation, Mr. Julian Amery, today met representatives of the British and Foreign Airlines, Municipal Authorities and other aerodrome owners to discuss proposed changes in airport charges, including the introduction of a new charge designed to cover the costs of Aerodrome Technical Services provided by the Ministry. The charges were announced last September and it was then proposed that they should be introduced on 1st April, 1964.In the light of representations made at the meeting, in particular the difficulties that would be created for airlines and aerodrome owners if the charges were introduced on 1st April, the Minister has decided to postpone the new arrangements until 1st November, 1964.