The provision and development of these, as of other British air services, is a matter for the commercial judgment and initiative of any interested operators, subject to compliance with licensing requirements.
Would my hon. Friend not agree that the total absence of regular air services to the far South-West is one of the reasons why this area faces such very great difficulty? Will he reconsider his Answer and, if private companies are not prepared to do anything, will he approach the B.E.A. to see whether it would consider a service to the far South-West as in other parts of Britain?
Would the hon. Gentleman make clear that where licences have been taken up and are now being operated his Department will encourage other people to investigate running commercially viable lines who could be granted licences in order so to do?
I could not say a definite "Yes" to the second part of that supplementary question because it is a matter for the Air Transport Licensing Board, but certainly the Board takes into account licences which have not been taken up and, after a period, it cancels them. Therefore, there is an opportunity to reapply.