HC Deb 12 February 1973 vol 850 cc953-4
3. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which areas of the United Kingdom have been excluded from examination by the British Airports Authority in its search for a national policy for airports; on whose instructions; and why.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

The Civil Aviation Authority, which under the Civil Aviation Act 1971 is the body responsible for this work, tells me that the answer is "None, Sir".

Mr. Adley

I thank my hon. Friend for the answer and also for his agreement to study the Severnside proposals. Will he first seek discussions in his Department and with the Canadian Ministry of Works about the similar decision to Maplin which is being taken in Canada? Does my hon. Friend agree that to make the decision to proceed with Maplin before the Civil Aviation Authority had a chance to produce a national airports policy would be similar to the Football Association telling Sir Alf Ramsey to select a football team but instrucing him what his forward line must be?

Mr. Heseltine

We had a thorough discussion on the whole subject of Maplin last week and the House gave the Government authority to proceed in that matter.

Mr. Mason

Will the Minister say when the Civil Aviation Authority expects to report on future development in airport expansion or on new developments in Yorkshire and Humberside? What assessment have the Government made of the adverse effects of Maplin on Northern Region airport development and expansion?

Mr. Heseltine

I am sure that the right hon. Member regrets that he did not take part in the Maplin debate when all these matters were thoroughly ventilated. The development of an airport in South-East England is necessary regardless of the growth we anticipate for the other regions in the country. The Civil Aviation Authority is proceeding as a matter of urgency with its studies and I hope to hear from it in the not too distant future.

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