HL Deb 02 May 1995 vol 563 cc111-2WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the comparative number of aircraft movements at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Southampton airports; what effect the construction of a fifth terminal at Heathrow would be likely to have; and whether they will make landing at a less popular airport more financially attractive rather than allow further noise nuisance under the Heathrow flight path.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen)

In the 12 months to March 1995, the number of aircraft movements were:

1Total Aircraft Movements Passenger Air Transport Movements
Heathrow 428,846 413,545
Gatwick 193,141 182,608
Stansted 78,172 260,147
Southampton 57,707 23,537
1 Includes general aviation, cargo, helicopters and air taxis.
2 This figure includes a number of movements which do not count toward the passenger air transport movement limit set under section 32 of the Airport Act 1986.

BAA's statement of case for the forthcoming public inquiry into the proposed Terminal 5 shows total aircraft movements at Heathrow rising to 473,000 in 2016 with Terminal 5, compared with 440,000 without. These figures will be open to examination at the inquiry.

Airport charges in the UK are governed by the provisions of the Airports Act 1986. Section 41 enables the CAA to impose conditions to remedy conduct such as artificially low charges or conduct which damages another airport's business. Airport charges in the UK also need to be consistent with international obligations which broadly relate the level of user charges paid by airlines to the recovery of the direct costs of airport operations.

For Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, the amount that can be raised through airport charges is controlled by a price cap formula set by the CAA, following a review by the MMC. The level of airport charges at Heathrow is higher than at Gatwick or Stansted.