In providing air services at Prestwick or indeed other United Kingdom airports British operators must conform with their air service licences. Foreign airlines must also conform with the appropriate inter-Governmental Air Services Agreements. These things necessarily involve some restrictions.
Is the right hon.. Gentleman aware that this incident has caused widespread concern in Scotland, not only because it is desirable for Scotland to have these international air services but because of its wider implications? Is he further aware that there is a feeling that there is a tendency to expect everybody to come to London if they want to travel on international airways? Can he repudiate this and also say whether B.O.A.C. intends to increase its services from prestwick?
I am grateful to the right hon.. Gentleman for giving me the opportunity to say that there is no question of our trying to move passengers from Scotland to London for inter-continental journeys. I understand from Sir Giles Guthrie that B.O.A.C. will be running some 12 services a week to the United States and Canada from Prestwick.
Is my right hon.. Friend satisfied is two points? The first is that, as a result of this reduction, Prestwick will not suffer, and secondly, that Scandinavian Air Services will be able to maintain sufficient traffic to justify continuing the service through Prestwick.
It is my impression that S.A.S. will continue to operate at its present frequency on the Scottish—European rector. Any loss to Prestwick could only be through landing fees, and this is a very small consideration.
As consideration is being given to the development of Stansted as a third international airport for London, will the right hon.. Gentleman consider whether or not Prestwick could play some part in this new development?