Edinburgh Airport

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00 am, 13th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement on future developments at Edinburgh airport linked with the report of the public inquiry he now has before him.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

I have at present nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Gentleman on 21st November.—[Vol. 846, c. 389.]

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Is the Secretary of State aware that the continuing delay in reaching a decision on Edinburgh airport smacks of complacency probably unequalled by any Secretary of State? Secondly, is he further aware that yesterday one of his hon. Friends notified me that nothing can be done about the structural faults in taxiways until the right hon. Gentleman reaches his decision on the future of the airport? Does he realise that we are discussing jobs, airport revenues—

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Order. We are not discussing anything at the moment. We are in the middle of a supplementary question.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the question embraces revenues from the airport, jobs and interruption of flight schedules and that this whole matter typifies the image of the capital city of Scotland—namely, Edinburgh?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

The hon. Gentleman should know that under the provisions of the various planning Acts I have to consider the report made by the reporter, as a result of an inquiry which took 38 days and at which detailed and complex evidence was led. I am dealing with this matter as quickly as I can. Indeed, I am probably more concerned about Edinburgh airport than anybody else since I use it so frequently.

Photo of Mr Ronald Murray Mr Ronald Murray , Edinburgh Leith

I appreciate that this is not a time at which to comment on the merits of the proposals for Turnhouse airport, because the Secretary of State must reach a judicial decision on it, but will he agree that we have a duty and a right to ask whether he is aware that the whole future of the airport is at risk as long as the taxiway is not fit. Does he agree that employment which depends on the existence of the airport is also at risk?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

I have been trying to make progress on Edinburgh airport for several years. An inquiry had to take place because a number of leading bodies and individuals raised objections, as they had a right to do. Those objections were detailed, and I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman will know that these are matters which cannot be decided overnight.