HC Deb 28 July 1997 vol 299 c76W
Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names of those companies and organisations which have expressed interest in acquiring the Farnborough aerodrome. [10791]

Mr. Spellar

Five expressions of interest in acquiring Farnborough aerodrome have been received. I am withholding details of the interested parties under exemption 13 of the code of practice on access to Government information.

Mr. Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce his decision on the Government's preferred bidder to acquire the Farnborough aerodrome; and if he will set out a timetable for the disposal. [10790]

Mr. Spellar

My officials are currently considering the expressions of interest in Farnborough which have been received and I expect to have their final recommendation in the very near future. It is still our intention to identify an airfield operator in time for it to be in a position to make full representations to the Rushmore borough council local plan inquiry in spring 1998. A formal lease will not be entered into until a full Civil Aviation Authority licence and planning permission are issued. The lease will reflect the Ministry of Defence's and the airfield operator's continued commitment to the long-term future of Society of British Aerospace Company air show. The intention is for the operator to be on site and operational in time for the Society of British Aerospace Companies 2000 air show.