Will my right hon. Friend accept that a great many people will be very relieved by that reassuring news? Will he confirm that he will continue to resist any demands for further inquiries, because there have been quite sufficient into this matter already? Will he give any indication of when the development order is likely to be introduced?
I am also relieved by the first remark in my hon. Friend's supplementary question. As to the remainder of it, there will not be a public inquiry into this matter. As to the development order, I cannot give a date because that depends on when discussions with the local authorities are concluded.
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, in the light of the inspector's report, by making this decision, he has utterly undermined public confidence in the whole of the inquiry system and has failed to carry with him either the public or expert opinion in the aviation world with regard to the right site?
This decision has been examined and argued about for not merely months but a matter of years. I re-examined it when I went to the Board of Trade at the beginning of September and satisfied myself again that Stansted is the best site. If we were to reopen the matter now it would cause a very considerable risk of delay in our building the third London airport, with serious consequences to our economy and balance of payments.
In view of the decision to spend public money inquiring into the realignment of runways at Stansted, will the right hon. Gentleman also consider realignment of runways at Heathrow? This would relieve the nuisance of noise caused for many London residents?
That is another question. As the hon. Member knows, I am concerned about the problem of noise at London Airport. On the realignment of the runway at Stansted, the Government have been willing to incur an additional cost which may rise to £10 million in order greatly to reduce the noise and the threat to amenity in the Stansted area.
Surely this saving of £10 million on the existing runway at Stansted was the one reason for using the Stansted site? That being so, surely the right hon. Gentleman is willing to look at the matter again?