Gatwick Airport

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr George Chetwynd Mr George Chetwynd , Stockton-on-Tees 12:00 am, 28th November 1960

asked the Minister of Aviation what use is being made of Gatwick Airport; and what plans he has for diverting traffic to Gatwick to avoid congestion at London Airport.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

Eleven airlines are using the airport regularly, and there are also charter and executive flights and diversions. The estimated passenger movements for 1960 are about 475,000, compared with 367,850 last year. B.E.A. propose to transfer some of its London-Paris services to Gatwick by 1st April, 1961, and I have requested Air France to do the same. These and similar transfers of other Continental services should help to avoid congestion in the Central Terminal at London Airport.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

In future plans for this airport, will my right hon. Friend take into account that British European Airways has to operate through Le Bourget and is not allowed to operate at the International Airport at Orly, whereas Air France has full use of London Airport? Should it not take a lead in moving to Gatwick?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I do not want Gatwick to be considered as a punishment. It is a very fine airport and has certain advantages for the European services.

Photo of Mr George Chetwynd Mr George Chetwynd , Stockton-on-Tees

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that access to Victoria from Gatwick is just as good as access from London Airport to Cromwell Road?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

At times it may be even better.