HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 cc436-7
1. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what decision has been reached about the future of Leconfield aerodrome; and whether it will be made available to civil airlines as well as to the Royal Air Force.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force (Mr. Merlyn Rees)

The Royal Air Force will require Leconfield for as far ahead as can be foreseen. We are now prepared to discuss with any applicants the terms and conditions under which we could allow a scheduled civil air service to be operated from the airfield. For example, military needs must take priority, and we cannot undertake to provide for a civil operator any airfield or safety services we would not require ourselves.

Mr. Wall

I welcome the hon. Gentleman's reply. Does it mean that a civil air firm could use this aerodrome within, say, the next 12 months provided that arrangements can be made with the Government?

Mr. Rees

It means that, and I suggest that everyone gets together and talks about it.

Mr. James Johnson

Is my hon. Friend aware that the City of Kingston-upon-Hull has always been keen to have this airfield as the site for a municipal airport? Despite any lobbying by commercial firms, will he constantly bear this in mind?

Mr. Rees

We should be quite prepared to discuss it with Hull Corporation as well.

Mr. George Jeger

Does my hon. Friend's reply relate to all R.A.F. airfields? Is it not time that a comprehensive review of all R.A.F. airfields was held in order that some of them might be turned over to civilian use?

Mr. Rees

This is constantly being looked at. My reply refers to Leconfield, but if my hon. Friend has any particular airfield in mind, perhaps he will get in touch with us.