§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Minister for Trade if, in framing future policy on the siting of airports, he will take account of the effect that any major extension of airport facilities in the south of England will have on the relatively less prosperous northern regions and the consequential inhibition of the development of regional airports in the north.182W
§ Mr. Sproat
The Government's policy is to provide airport facilities to meet demand where it arises. It. is committed to maximising the potential of regional airports to meet local demand and has authorised substantial capital expenditure allocations to this end; however, some 80 per cent. of passengers at London area airports have origins and destinations in the South-East and it is to serve this need that developments are in hand or under consideration at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted.
§ Mr. David Steel
asked the Minister for Trade if it remains his policy to encourage the development of scheduled air services at Gatwick airport; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sproat
The Government's policy remains as set out by the then Secretary of State for Trade in his statement of 13 May 1981—[Vol. 23, c. 273–751]—in which he confirmed that the provision of scheduled services from Gatwick would continue to be an important objective of the Government's policies and of all negotiations about air services of existing operators at Heathrow. He also confirmed that airlines which were not already operating scheduled international services at Heathrow would not be allowed to start services there. As a result of this policy, the range of scheduled air services available from Gatwick has grown considerably over the last few years.