HL Deb 13 June 1984 vol 452 cc1114-5

2.47 p.m.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have now received any reply to their representations to the Spanish Government about the restriction on the use of Spanish airspace by aircraft approaching and leaving Gibraltar Airport.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

My Lords, discussions are continuing with the Spanish Government with a view to the earliest possible full normalisation of relations in the Gibraltar area.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that moderately hopeful reply. Is he aware that a couple of months ago I was in an aircraft which only got into Gibraltar after several attempts, during which the pilots made it clear that they were being handicapped by this restriction? Can my noble friend impress on the Spanish Government that it is difficult to have good relations with, or even treat with respect, a Government which persists in this mean and dangerous little restriction?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, I can confirm to my noble friend that we have lost no opportunity to represent this point to the Spaniards. But I should like to add that, in the event of the safety of the aircraft becoming a consideration, pilots operating into Gibraltar are directed to enter the prohibited area if need be.