HL Deb 10 June 1998 vol 590 cc88-9WA
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What changes they have decided to make to the policy on international access to regional airports in the United Kingdom following the consultation exercise on this issue earlier in the year. [HL2231]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman)

The Government wish to encourage international access to regional airports by pursuing a policy of liberalisation. We have decided that open access to all UK airports, except Heathrow and Gatwick, should be offered to all of our bilateral air services partners, provided that UK airlines are also allowed to operate on the same routes. Officials will be writing to all of our bilateral partners where such access is not already available with details of this change of policy.

This change in policy will allow both UK airlines and the airlines of the country concerned to operate to and from that country on such routes without restrictions on capacity or frequency, and without the need for international aviation negotiations to establish such services. This will enable UK and foreign airlines to plan the development of services with confidence that future growth will not be limited by bilateral restrictions.