§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on the provision of launch aid to businesses in the supply chain for(a) Airbus and (b) aircraft carrier projects. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 30 October 2003]: The provision of Launch Investment is entirely discretionary. Each application is considered on its merits against a range of established criteria and against public expenditure constraints.
The Government are currently investing £530 million of Launch Investment to Airbus UK for the design and development of the Airbus A380 wings. The support provided to the prime contractor such as Airbus UK benefits the whole of the supply chain by securing strategically important projects for the UK. On the A380 programme more than 400 companies located throughout the UK are already contributing to the programme.
Launch Investment is only available to the civil aerospace sector and therefore aircraft carrier projects would not be eligible for support.