HC Deb 05 March 1973 vol 852 cc5-6
3. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will now take steps to estimate the proportion of future air traffic in the scheduled and charter services, respectively, and the places of domicile of United Kingdom citizens using such charter services.

The Minister for Aerospace and Shipping (Mr. Michael Heseltine)

Use of pro- motional fares on scheduled services and changing concepts in charter services blur the distinction between them economically so that future air traffic is best estimated as an entity. The domicile of air travellers and whether they used a charter service were among the questions put in the Civil Aviation Authority's 1972 London area airports origin and destination survey.

Mr. Spearing

As charter services have a much higher load factor in general than do the scheduled services, and in Vol. 8 of the Roskill proceedings it was pointed out that in order to time the need for a third London airport, if one be necessary at all, one has to project the future loadings of these types of traffic separately, how can the Minister consider the need without doing just that?

Mr. Heseltine

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the CAA is looking at the South-East England airports and will be publishing its findings in June.

Mr. Spearing

What about the whole of Britain?

Mr. Heseltine

The authority has authorised me to say that, from the preliminary investigation it has made, it sees no reason to doubt the need for a third London airport by the early 1980s.

Mr. Wilkinson

I remind my hon. Friend that his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State told me some months ago in the debate on the need for a national airports policy that the Government would do everything possible to stimulate the development of regional airports, presumably with a view to catering for inclusive tour and charter traffic. Will he assure me that this is still the Government's policy notwithstanding the proposed development at Maplin?

Mr. Heseltine

The CAA is looking at the whole question of regional airports, and the matters to which my hon. Friend refers will be very much in its mind.

Forward to