HC Deb 01 February 1967 vol 740 cc492-3
26. Mr. Boston

asked the President of the Board of Trade what recent consideration he has given to the need to site major international airports away from residential areas but accessible, by mean3 of fast road-rail links, to large centres of population.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

Separation from substantial residential areas but with accessibility to large centres of population are certainly two of the factors, if not always reconcilable at reasonable cost, which are relevant to the siting of major new airports. These and other important factors have been in mind in considering the site of the third London airport.

Mr. Boston

Although a coastal site with these links might be more costly, does not my hon. Friend think that it is worth paying pretty heavily in order to save people from noise? To what extent is he taking account of costs of this kind in achieving that purpose?

Mr. Mallalieu

A good deal of cost is worth while to avoid the nuisance of noise. We have been considering all sorts of sites with that end in view.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Is the Minister aware that it takes longer to get from West London Air Terminal to the nearest tube station than from Heathrow to Paris? When he is siting these new aerodromes will he try to make sure that they are at least accessible to public transport?

Mr. Mallalieu

That is certainly the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is very unlikely that the Concord aircraft will ever be able to fly over land? If this aircraft is to come into productive use—which in my view is improbable—is it not necessary to have an international airport on the coast? Does he agree with that?

Mr. Mallalieu

I do not agree at all with the first part of my hon. Friends question about the Concord. It would be a great convenience to have an airport sited near the sea, or even on the sea, but the cost might be prohibitive.

Mr. Marten

Following the curious remark of the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins), may I ask the Minister if he recalls that his predecessor held a conference at Lancaster House on the very subject of noise, and that the results of that conference, so far as I know, have never been published? Why not? When will they be published?

Mr. Mallalieu

They are being carefully studied. [Laughter.] Oddly enough, this is a very important subject, and it was a very important conference. The conclusions are being studied and will be published as soon as possible.