HC Deb 16 May 1972 vol 837 cc87-8W
Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reasons the New Zealand Government gave him when they refused permission for Concorde to land in that country.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

The New Zealand Government warmly welcomed the proposal for Concorde to visit their country. But on investigation the British Aircraft Corporation decided that airfield construction work at Auckland ruled out a visit on this occasion. The New Zealand Government were naturally very disappointed, as indeed I was, that BAC had to take this decision, but they very much hope that it will be possible for Concorde to visit New Zealand when the construction work is completed. I would like to express our appreciation for the co-operation and assistance given by the New Zealand authorities in the operational evaluation.

I would also like to express our thanks to the other Governments which are cooperating on the arrangements for Concorde's forthcoming tour. In particular I would like to extend our appreciation to the Government of Japan, which have been most helpful in fitting Concorde into their very busy international airport at Tokyo.