HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 cc10-1
11. Mr. Elysian Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will request the Welsh Economic Council to make a study of the part which the development of flying facilities could make to the growth of rural areas in Wales.

Mr. Peter Thomas

I understand that the Council is already looking at civil aviation facilities in Wales and will shortly be considering a report on this subject by the former Welsh Advisory Committee for Civil Aviation.

Mr. Morgan

Will the Secretary of State request the Council to pay particular attention to mid-Wales, which is not at present served by any air facilities? The establishment of even a small air strip could play a very important role in the development of this sub-region.

Mr. Thomas

I am sure that the Welsh Council will pay attention to what the hon. Gentleman said. As he knows, the Council has recently commissioned a survey of public transport in Wales, for which I have made a research grant. There is no reason why this should not include the role of civil aviation in the transport system. There is no reason why the rural aspect should not be considered.

Mr. Alan Williams

Would the Secretary of State consider making bridging finance available for the Swansea airport? I am sure he appreciates that in the days of multi-branch and multi-national firms, an airport at a place such as Swansea would be of great attraction to firms looking to South-West Wales.

Mr. Thomas

Yes, I appreciate that one can attach some importance to the Swansea airport. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the recently established Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for securing the general development of civil air transport in the United Kingdom, and I shall continue to put to that Authority the claims of all the aerodromes in Wales.