§ Mr. Haselhurst
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has completed his consideration of the British Airport Authority's proposal to develop Stansted airport; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
The British Airports Authority submitted to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 31 October 1985 its proposals for the development of Stansted airport in accordance with the planning consent given by my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Environment and for Transport in June 1985.
The authority proposes to construct in the first phase a terminal capable of handling up to 8 million passengers a year, together with the associated infrastructure necessary to support this volume of traffic. The proposals meet the conditions which were attached to the planning consent.
The traffic forecasts used by the authority in its financial appraisal are consistent with those set out in the 363W White Paper on airports policy (Cmnd. 9542) published in June 1985. They confirm that the additional terminal capacity will be required by 1991 in order to meet expected demand in the south-east, and that the number of passengers using the proposed new facilities at Stansted is likely to reach 8 million in 1995, only four years after it is planned to commission the new terminal.
The authority has estimated the cost of the proposed development at £290 million (at October 1985 prices). This expenditure will be spread over nine years.
This investment should meet the required rate of return for public sector investment, and I have today given my approval both to the BAA's proposal to start work on the construction of the new terminal facilities at Stansted in April (subject to its obtaining planning approval of the local authorities concerned) and to the estimated expenditure of £33 million on this project in 1986–87.