§ Mr. Wilkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent discussions between his Department, the Scottish Development Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority about the future of aerodromes in the Highlands and Islands in Scotland currently in the ownership of the Civil Aviation Authority.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
In evaluating the offers both the Government and the authority were concerned that the aerodromes should continue to be operated on a basis which meets the essential social needs of the communities concerned. The extent to which offers would have resulted in a significant reduction in the subsidy requirement was also taken into consideration. We have concluded that none of the offers received was satisfactory.
The aerodromes will continue to be owned and operated by the CAA for the time being but we are considering in the context of airports policy generally if alternative arrangements might be appropriate in the longer term.