HC Deb 13 February 2002 vol 380 cc439-40W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals the Government will be making to the European Council at Barcelona on the creation of the single sky in Europe; what effect they will have on Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement. [35852]

Peter Hain

The Lisbon strategy calls for completion of the Single European Sky by 2004. Proposals designed to achieve this are currently under negotiation. The Spanish Presidency has not yet made clear whether this issue will be discussed at the Barcelona European Council. The UK is committed to Single Sky. It offers the best route to overcoming delays and congestion caused by the structural problems in Europe's Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. It will also improve safety, and provide the necessary framework for future air traffic growth.

With regard to the effect of these proposals on Gibraltar, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Jones) on 1 November 2001, Official Report, column 811W. There have been no further discussions with Spain on this matter.