HC Deb 12 May 1983 vol 42 c396W
Mr. Knox

asked the Minister for Trade if he will make a statement about the request from the Heathrow Airline Scheduling Committee that there should be some relaxation of the present ban on charter flights from Heathrow.

Mr. Sproat

After careful consideration, I have decided that there should be a modest relaxation of the ban on whole-plane charters at Heathrow first introduced on 1 April 1978. From 1 June 1983 airline operators will be allowed to mount ad hoc sole use or special event charters from that airport for a trial period. This relaxation will not apply to series charters or inclusive tour whole-plane charter flights and the Heathrow scheduling committee has agreed to ensure that none of the modest number of additional flights anticipated will operate during the current night-quota period. These arrangements will be kept under review each year and will end when the proposed 275,000 air transport movement limit is introduced with the completion of the fourth terminal at Heathrow. In all other respects, the Government's Heathrow-Gatwick policy remains as set out in the then Secretary of State for Trade's statement on 13 May 1981 and, in particular, the requirement that no airline that is not presently operating scheduled international passenger services to Heathrow is allowed to start such services from that airport.