asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation why successive proposed schemes to develop Woolsington Airport, Newcastle-on-Tyne, for continental traffic, at a cost of £450,000, and a subsequent revised scheme costing £140,000, were both refused sanction and grant-in-aid when permission for other airport development schemes, including that at Ringway, Manchester, have been recently sanctioned; and what are the considerations which at the moment regulate the rejection or acceptance of airport development schemes by his Department.
My noble Friend has been unable to support schemes for the development of Woolsington Aerodrome because of the limitations on Capital Investment and because a site at Boldon has been selected for ultimate development as the aerodrome to serve Tyneside. With regard to the second part of the Question, airport development must be confined at present to schemes urgently required to meet the most essential need for international air services.
Whilst I appreciate the limitations put upon airport development schemes by reason of cuts in the capital investment programme, will my hon. Friend bear in mind that at present the North-East coast of England is entirely without any air communication with Scandinavia and that that part of the country feels rather neglected as a result?