HC Deb 28 July 1982 vol 28 cc1044-5
5. Mr. Robert Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what expenditure on services associated with civil aviation has fallen on his Department's Vote in the last three years for which figures are available.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Allan Stewart)

In the financial years 1979–80 to 1981–82 inclusive, my Department's expenditure on services associated with civil aviation totalled £6.9 million. I shall publish detailed figures in the Official Report.

Mr. Atkins

Is my hon. Friend aware of the great achievements of the Highland division of British Airways, which has managed to turn substantial losses into profits for the forthcoming year as a result of the efforts of management and unions to increase productivity and to give a better service for the money? Could not the same be done in other parts of British Airways throughout the country and in other companies?

Mr. Stewart

The division has been in operation for only two months. My hon. Friend's detailed knowledge and expertise are well-known, and I am glad of his comments.

Mr. Foulkes

What are the Government doing to bring together all interests in Scotland to increase direct flights to Europe and North America out of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick to counter the pull of the South-East of England?

Mr. Stewart

When my right hon. Friend gave evidence to the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs on 19 July he emphasised the Government's commitment to the long-term potential for Prestwick and our wish to encourage all involved, including the British Airports Authority, to support the airport. Considerable effort is being devoted to that end in North America by the Scottish Tourist Board.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Will my hon. Friend confirm the great importance of Edinburgh airport and pass the information on to those responsible that there is widespread demand for intercontinental services out of Edinburgh?

Mr. Stewart

No doubt my right hon. and hon. Friends in the Department of Trade will note what my hon. Friend says. We have recently reiterated our policy on the Scottish Lowland airports, which is that the three airports should complement each other to achieve the best use of resources.

Following is the information:

1979–80 1980–81 1981–82
Highlands and Islands Aerodromes 2,700,000 3,830,000
Loganair Limited 102,700 92,589 171,050