HC Deb 07 February 1985 vol 72 c1095
11. Mr. Robert Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the future of Aldergrove and Belfast Harbour airports.

Mr. Chris Patten

Algergrove will continue to be the main airport serving the demands for air transport in Northern Ireland. However, additional services are provided from other airports in Northern Ireland, including Belfast Harbour airport, where scheduled services recommenced in February 1983.

Mr. Atkins

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Civil Aviation Authority proposal to include Harbour airport but to exclude Aldergrove within the area operating facility list is a slap in the face for competition in the Province, which has so far forced Aldergrove to reduce its charges and then to keep them steady for the past two years? Will the Minister ensure that Harbour airport maintains its place in the interests of non-jet airlines, passengers and Shorts?

Mr. Patten

I do not recognise any slaps in the face. As my hon. Friend knows, the matter is principally one for the CAA and therefore in this House for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.