HC Deb 18 June 1969 vol 785 cc476-7
4. Mr. Speed

asked the President of the Board of Trade what assistance his Department is giving to municipal airports setting up consultative committees under Section 8(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1968; and if he will list the authorities that are setting up such committees.

Mr. William Rodgers

Discussions have been held with the bodies representing most aerodrome owners, and advice will continue to be available to individual aerodrome owners about the provision of facilities for consultation. In the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Boston) on 23rd May 1969, I listed the 13 aerodromes which have been designated so far. In practice, nearly all their owners have, or intend to, set up consultative committees.—[Vol. 784, c. 171.]

Mr. Speed

Will the hon. Gentleman not agree that it is essential that these committees should be working as soon as possible? Can he give an assurance that the Maud proposals will not be used as an excuse to delay setting up these committees?

Mr. Rodgers

We favour widespread consultation with the interests concerned, where aerodromes are sited. We are certainly playing our full part.

Mr. Onslow

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many other inquiries he has had recommending the establishment of such committees on which he has not yet given a decision, and what are the criteria which lead him to a decision?

Mr. Rodgers

We have so far designated aerodromes where there is most public concern. In general, we attempt to respond to local opinion, bearing in mind that a single criticism would not be sufficient to make us feel it necessary to invoke the provisions of the Act.