§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the Government's policy towards the expansion of regional airports in the light of the planning applications submitted by Liverpool airport and Manchester airport.
§ Mr. Norris
The recent runway capacity in the south-east report shows that there are better prospects for growth in traffic at regional airports with a greater range of direct services becoming available than is the case for airports in the south-east. This is good for travellers. We are encouraging local authority-owned regional airports to involve the private sector in their development plans.
The application for Manchester airport was called in by the Secretary of State for the Environment in October and will be for joint decision by him and the Secretary of State for Transport. In view of this quasi-judicial role it would not be appropriate to comment on the proposal. Consideration of Liverpool airport's recent application is a matter in the first instance for the local planning authorities.