HC Deb 28 June 1965 vol 715 c15W
Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the Minister of Aviation what action is being taken about the proposal that Burtonwood airfield should be reserved as a site for a future civil airport.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

I consider that Ring-way and Speke—with their planned developments—should be able to handle all expected traffic for many years; access to Ringway will be greatly improved by the planned North Cheshire Motorway. Although an aerodrome at Burtonwood would take some traffic that would otherwise use these airports safety considerations make it unlikely that three airports in such close proximity could, at busy periods, handle much more traffic than Ringway and Speke alone.

A further factor is that there are particularly valuable reserves of coal underlying the airfield, though it is not likely that the Coal Board's workings will seriously affect the use of the runway until 1968. Any interference with the Board's programme would be physically difficult and extremely costly.

However, the future of Burtonwood as an airport is now being considered by the North West Economic Planning Council, and as I told the hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. W. T. Williams) on 2nd June I shall wait for their report before giving my final views. There is no danger that Coal Board developments will prejudge the position before I receive this report.