HC Deb 06 November 1968 vol 772 c883
3. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will seek powers to make a financial grant towards the development and construction of major off-shore airports near the East Coast to serve London and the East Midlands.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. William Rodgers)

Adequate powers are already available, should the need arise.

Mr. Roberts

Does not my hon. Friend agree that, in a thickly populated island like ours, the only sensible location for major airports must be on platforms offshore, and will he agree also that any consideration of other types of site by commissions or committees now sitting is a complete waste of time?

Mr. Rodgers

I do not agree with my hon. Friend's second proposition. I agree, however, with his first, that there is an interesting prospect here in the establishment of major airports offshore. Chicago, for example, has in mind, I understand, a new airport in Lake Michigan. This is, however, principally a technological matter upon which I could not usefully comment further.

Mr. Corfield

Will the Minister bear in mind that there is a fairly large number of passengers to whom proximity to a major centre of population is not of first importance and that, in the circumstances, a lot of the noise and inconvenience which is caused by flying could be saved by adopting his hon. Friend's suggestion?

Mr. Rodgers

Yes; a balance has to be struck, and that is a point to be borne in mind.

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