HC Deb 11 May 1999 vol 331 cc122-3W
Dr. Marek

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the future use of the airfield on Ascension Island and on the level of resulting(a) income and (b) expenditure. [83838]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

The United States Base on Ascension is provided free from rent and charges to the US Space Command under the terms of the Agreement between the UK and US Governments Concerning the Extension of the Bahamas Long Range Proving Ground by the Establishment of Additional Sites in Ascension Island signed in 1956, as amended.

Wideawake Airfield, which forms part of the US Base, is a key link in the RAF airbridge to the Falkland Islands. We are currently negotiating with the US Government to allow the use of Wideawake by civil charter flights. If these negotiations are successful this will improve access to both Ascension and St. Helena, some 700 miles away.

Until we reach agreement with the US Government over the future use of the airfield no figures on any resulting levels of income and expenditure are available.

Forward to