HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1650-1
58. Mr. Mapp

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an analysis for September last, or for a typical period, of the proportions of air passengers travelling abroad emanating from the northern and southern halves, respectively, of England and Wales; and how far such data supports the development of airports other than in the London area for international services.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

On the basis of a sample survey carried out at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the summer of 1965, it is estimated that about 10 per cent. of passengers on international flights through these airports come from, or are bound for, the northern half of England and Wales; and 85 per cent. are travelling to or from the southern half.

Mr. Mapp

Is my hon. Friend aware that to that information must be added the volume of passengers flying direct to the Continent and elsewhere from the north of England? Will he watch the data very carefully in future, otherwise we may have a third and fourth international airport in the southern part of the country when it should justifiably be placed somewhere north of Birmingham? Are we not in danger of repeating in the 20th century in terms of airports the mistakes made by the railways in the 19th century in placing so many termini in London?

Mr. Mallalieu

I hope that we shall not repeat the mistakes of the 19th century. I shall watch this matter with particular interest.