§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce legislation to require local authorities to dispose of their interests in airports; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norris
The Government believe that privatisation would bring benefits to local authority airports. It is for the local authorities who own airports to decide whether to dispose of their interests, taking into account the needs of those who live in the areas concerned and the customers who use the airports. In taking those decisions they will be aware that if they wish to see their airports continue to develop, they will need to use internal resources or look to the private sector to fund major expenditure programmes, either through joint ventures or outright sale.