HC Deb 14 October 1991 vol 196 cc11-2
11. Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Airports Policy Consortium on London's long-term airports.

Mr. McLoughlin

The Airports Policy Consortium has sent its report, "Europe One", to the working group which we set up to consider how south-east air traffic demand could be met in the light of the advice of the Civil Aviation Authority in its report CAP570.

Mr. Atkinson

Does my hon. Friend agree with the consortium's call for a more coherent airport strategy for London and the south-east in the 21st century to take account of the potential development of regional airports, such as Bournemouth Hurn in the constituency of my hon.

Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley), and for a new London airport on a blue water site in the Thames estuary?

Mr. McLoughlin

The group that we set up is considering all aspects of report CAP570. I agree with my hon. Friend that it is desirable to have regional airport growth. Some of our regional airports are major international airports. Reference has been made to Manchester, the third largest airport in the country. I assure my hon. Friend that all those considerations will be taken into account.

Mr. Cohen

Are not the Government turning London City airport into a major airport and is not the decision to allow jets to use it part of that process? Are not the Government acting by stealth, instead of having a proper planning process whereby the people of London can be consulted?

Mr. McLoughlin

That decision was made after an extensive inquiry, and I think that it has been welcomed by most people.

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