§ Mr. Darling
As yet, no discussions have been held with any interested parties to assist in drawing up proposals for the next consultation on a new night restrictions regime for Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. We expect the consultation to commence in the first half of this year.
§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether local authority grant financing will be available to local authorities who own airports in the South East to develop those airports. 
§ Mr. McNulty
Under the new prudential capital finance system, which comes into force on 1 April 2004, a small amount of local authority airport investment will attract revenue support grant. In allocating this investment approval, the Department will give priority to health, safety, security and environmental projects required by the regulatory authorities. Local authorities will be free to make their own decisions on additional borrowing for airport development purposes, providing they can afford it. A further option would be to seek a private sector partner.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will use his statutory powers to control the(a) time and (b) volume of night flights in and out of East Midlands Airport. 
§ Dr. Howells
The Government consider that existing measures to control noise from night flight operations at East Midlands Airport are adequate. Their policy towards night noise and East Midlands Airport is set out in the Government's White Paper, "The Future of Air Transport", chapters 3 and 9 respectively.