Airports Policy

– in the House of Commons at 10:46 pm on 17th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Ground Mr Patrick Ground , Feltham and Heston 10:46 pm, 17th June 1985

I welcome the White Paper and the intention to privatise the British Airports Authority, and I hope that BAA's journey to privatisation will be short and quick.

For the air traveller and the air transport industry, the best aspect of the decisions on Stansted and Heathrow is the fact that the option of packing increasingly greater numbers of people into increasingly larger aeroplanes from Heathrow and preventing major expansion outside Heathrow has been abandoned. The choice offered in the White Paper will leave some freedom for the air transport industry to develop in the way that people want. When people have a choice, they frequently prefer to fly in smaller aeroplanes and at more convenient times.

There is no doubt that the commitments made at the time of the terminal 4 planning decision are very important to the people of west London. Those commitments have been accepted by elected representatives of all parties.

Section 5.14 of the White Paper contains a very important statement. The Government express their belief that other effective ways of limiting the disturbance of aircraft noise should be pursued. That is an acceptable attitude so long as those steps are taken. The Government are committed to reviewing the noise insulation grant schemes once the 1985 noise climate is known. My postbag is full of letters from constituents who have just missed out on obtaining noise insulation grants because of bad luck or bad advice. I hope that a more flexible system will emerge.

The Government intend commissioning research into roof insulation. I hope that particular attention will be directed towards those who receive no benefit, or next to no benefit, from the runway alteration system. I hope that the recommendations on special provisions for schools and hospitals will receive urgent consideration from the Government. The proposals allowing properties to be acquired compulsorily at the owner's wish where they are blighted by noise should be included in the powers of the airports authority.

In chapter 20 of the Inspector's report there are some extremely important recommendations about night movements of aircraft. The report says that it is unacceptable in a caring society that even one or two aircraft should be permitted to disturb sleep at night. In 1982–83, there was an average of only 12 movements per night at Heathrow, which represented less than 2 per cent. of the total traffic. Therefore, there is a strong justification for the inspector's recommendation that there should be a complete night flying ban at Heathrow, as already practised at many important airports throughout the world. I accept that, as the Government suggest; there should be full consultation with airlines and charter operators about the matter.

I urge the Government, as part of their commitment to reducing noise, to pay particular attention to the inspector's recommendations in relation to night noise. I believe that if those measures are conscientiously and determinedly taken they will be just as acceptable to the people of west London as the existing commitments in relation to aircraft movements.

Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Romsey and Waterside 10:51 pm, 17th June 1985

I am most grateful to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) for cutting his remarks short. I appreciate the sincerity and the passion with which hon. Members have fought their corner this evening, but I speak as one of only two hon. Members who have taken part in the debate without having a direct constituency interest. Perhaps one can stand back and take a less partial view of the matter.

I do not think that it is a question of deciding whether we want more development at Stansted, even up to 15 million passengers, a fifth terminal at Heathrow, or more regional growth. In time we shall need all three, and probably more besides. The Government's main difficulty is first in agreeing forecasts on which to base their plans, and then in deciding how and when additional airport capacity should be provided, particularly in the south-east, where 75 per cent. of international passengers come from and go to.

In a growth industry such as civil aviation, it is extremely difficult to estimate demand in terms of aircraft movements or passenger numbers. That is why I agree that the new system for making forecasts is an improvement on the previous one.

I welcome the Secretary of State's caution concerning terminal 5. I am a terminal 5 fan, and I caution those who suggest that terminal 5 is dead and buried, because it is not. My right hon. Friend talks in his White Paper about investigating the removal of the Perry Oaks sludge works. It is a practical and important thing to do, because it is a valuable piece of real estate, whether it is used for a new terminal or anything else. The last thing for which the site should be used is a sludge works. The building of terminal 5 should go ahead. I believe that in the end it will be built.

I take issue with my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley), who said that terminal 5 would double the capacity of Heathrow. That is not correct. It would add 15 million passengers to the capacity of Heathrow. The present capacity of Heathrow is 30 million and it will go up to 38 million when terminal 4 is fully operative, so terminal 5 would not even add a further 50 per cent. to the capacity of Heathrow. It is important to make that correction.

Much had been said this evening about the importance of regional airports by hon. Members who want to see their further development. Some Opposition Members see regional airport development as a form of job creation scheme. It is not. There is no way in which we can force passengers to go to the regions. We do not live under a dictatorship. No doubt a dictatorship would find it easy to run airport policy, but we live in a democracy, and in a democracy we cannot force passengers to go where they do not want to go.

According to the inspector's summary, in December 1984 regional airport terminal capacity was 20 million PPA. At present the use is 12·2 million PPA. That shows that there is an enormous capacity in the regions which has yet to be taken up.

I support the plea that has been made for Manchester, because Manchester airport is nearly full and will probably require a second terminal. A great deal has been said about the infrastructure around Manchester, and I agree with the views that have been expressed on the matter. Those who say that my right hon. Friend is ignoring Manchester airport have not read the White Paper, because it receives more of a mention than Gatwick. Too many Opposition Members have not read the White Paper properly. Regional airports can accept large increases in passenger numbers without major expenditure on additional facilities.

That brings me to another principle of the Government's airport policy which should prevail. The policy should be based upon the most effective use of airport facilities. Clause 3 of the abortive Bill placed an obligation upon the Secretary of State to give directions to the CAA to secure the most effective use of airport facilities. I hope that when another Bill is introduced it will contain such a clause.

My right hon. Friend has had a bad press over his airports policy. It has been described in most newspaper headlines as "a fudge". I should like to draw the attention of the House to what the Sunday Telegraph leading article ended by saying: It is a fudge. Mr. Ridley may feel frustrated, the people of Essex betrayed. But it is good that this should be so. In this case, fudge is beautiful. If it is fudge, I like it. It would have been impossible to produce an airports policy that would please everyone. A pragmatic solution, such as that contained in the White Paper, will not please some of the people all the time, but it will please all of the people some of the time.

I welcome the proposal that the 275,000 ATM limit should not be pursued and that traffic management should be the criterion for imposing such limits. There is another self-imposed limit which, to some extent, restricts the use of Heathrow and which should be removed. I refer to the curfew.

During his inquiry Mr. Eyre took no evidence on that matter, and yet he recommended that there should be a complete ban on night movements at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. In the view of the airlines, as expressed by IATA, that would sabotage the airport's ability to compete and set a dangerous precedent for other international airports worldwide. IATA also thought that the imposition of such a limit at Gatwick would be disastrous in view of the need for charter flights to make use of some of the night hours. It thought that aircraft utilisation by Gatwick carriers could be cut by one third if a curfew were imposed. The same could apply to Stansted.

The Government are probably correct to soft pedal on that issue. My hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes said that the point was not mentioned in the White Paper, but sections 5.6 and 5.7 mention it.

My right hon. Friend has given an undertaking that the phasing out of noisy aircraft and consultations and measures further to reduce disturbance from night noise are matters that he will take carefully into account when reaching a decision, but that he will not reach a decision in the near future.

I know that as far as airports are concerned, NIMBY usually prevails—the "not in my back yard" syndrome—but there is no doubt that with a growth industry such as civil aviation this country must have the airports that it needs. The Secretary of State, when he left the debate on Second Reading of the Civil Aviation Bill, said that he had never heard so much rubbish spoken in his life. It is so nice to see so much of that rubbish which was spoken included in the White Paper which we have before us today. It is for that reason that I congratulate my right hon. Friend on having second thoughts, and I say to the House that I think we ought to give the White Paper our fullest support.

11 pm

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

I think that the hon. Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) might have truncated his remarks a little to allow his hon. Friend the Member for Cannock and Burntwood (Mr. Howarth) a chance to speak. We made it plain at what time we wanted to commence the wind-up speeches. I hope that the hon. Member for Cannock and Burntwood will forgive me for getting up at the time arranged.

This has been the third such debate in a comparatively short time. For once, reference has been made to the cleverness of the Secretary of State for Transport, and the rather artful compromise that he has put before the House, which appears at least on the surface to have quelled this massive rebellion, about which we had been warned for a considerable time. Rebellions in the Conservative party never normally amount to very much, as we all know. I realise that one or two Conservative Members are determined to demonstrate their concern at the decisions that are outlined in the White Paper, by voting against their own Government, and I congratulate them on their consistency. I cannot congratulate the rest of the would-be rebels on their consistency, because it took very little in the way of compromise to persuade them that their Government should be supported in the Division Lobby.

As I said, there is nothing particularly unusual about that. Fights and revolts in the Conservative party here at Westminster normally have all the impact of the annual camp fire get-together of the second West Bromwich girl guides. They make plenty of noise, but there is comparatively title fury at the end of it. However, congratulations are due to Conservative Members who have seen through the Secretary of State's compromise, because all of us in the House know that the decisions—those nasty but necessary decisions—have been merely postponed. I make no guesses about the right hon. Gentleman's prospects for survival in the much-vaunted reshuffle in October. As I have said before, I hope that this particular fox continues to run and run. It is more fun chasing the right hon. Gentleman than it would be to chase the real thing. But the fact is that at some time in the future, one of his successors will have to take the decisions that he has postponed tonight. In order to defuse the rebellion in the Conservative party, many much-needed decisions have been fudged.

If there is one—perhaps the only one—expanding industry in this country, it is the one under discussion today. Its turnover amounts to billions of pounds, and it employs over 85,000 people. Any decisions that any Government take in that area should reflect the importance of that industry to Britain. [Interruption.] I realise that some Conservative Members have only just come in, and perhaps do not have the same interest in the debate as those of us who have sat through most of it, but I should be grateful if they allowed me at least to reply to some of the points that were made in the debate.

The saga of London's third airport is worthy of a script for that popular television programme, "Yes Minister". We are debating the future of an international airport where expansion has twice been rejected. We had the intervention of Maplin, from the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). The hon. Gentleman was as consistent as ever today. Despite the majority view of the House about Maplin, the hon. Gentleman still insists that he was right.

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his recent elevation. Despite what I say about some of his views, no one could ever say that the hon. Gentleman regards a knighthood in the same as Lloyd George did. Within a day or two of his elevation, the hon. Gentleman is telling the Government that he does not intend to support them tonight. Let us admire a rare example of consistency on the Government Benches.

Every time proposals for Stansted have been rejected, they have been dusted down and reintroduced subsequently. There may have been no continuity among Ministers in successive Governments, but there has been continuity among civil servants and a determination to ensure that London's third airport was built at Stansted—come what may, and no matter how many decisions to reject that view were taken by the House. Seemingly inevitably, we keep returning to the same arguments and eventually the right decision—in the civil servants view—is reached.

Most of the anxiety expressed by Labour Members and by some Conservative Members has been about the north-south imbalance and the further expenditure of resources in a comparatively affluent part of England at the expense of other parts of the United Kingdom that are anything but affluent. Despite investments and, in most cases, profitability in regional airports, air travellers in Lancashire, the west and east midlands, north-east England and on Teesside have to travel via London to reach international destinations on scheduled services and to pick up charter and holiday flights.

As hon. Members on both sides have pointed out, that arrangement seems to be more for the administrative convenience of airlines and tour operators than for the convenience of holidaymakers. It is obviously nonsensical that holidaymakers from Scotland or the provinces have to pay more for the doubtful privilege of flying from their own regional airports when they operate such services.

Given the overcrowded skies and the airport capacity problems in the south-east, it should surely not be beyond the wit of even this interventionist Government to point out that that arrangement is nonsensical. If tour companies or airlines wish to use airports in this part of the country, they should be charged more for that privilege. I hope that one or two Conservative Members who have expressed such views will demonstrate their consistency in the Division Lobby.

The hon. Members for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) and for Crawley (Mr. Soames) were among the few hon. Members who greeted the White Paper with acclamation. One can understand that, from a constituency point of view, the hon. Member for Luton, South would think that Luton had done rather well out of the White Paper.

Proposals have been made for the expansion of Luton airport, yet the Government merely piously hope that some expansion will take place. I spend eight months of the year working in London and I prefer the journey by rail to Birmingham's international airport to pick up a charter flight to the journey up the M1 to Luton airport—particularly in the light of the closures on part of that motorway. I cast no aspersions on Luton airport, but I think that my hour-long journey by rail to Birmingham is quicker than a journey by motorway to Luton. I do not mean to be controversial.

Photo of Mr Graham Bright Mr Graham Bright , Luton South

We have a railway station at Luton. The journey from London is just 30 minutes, and the transfer to the airport takes only seven minutes. One does not have to tackle the M1 to come to Luton.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for pointing that out. I do not know how many suitcases he takes on holiday, or how many people he takes with him, but the journey from Birmingham station to the airport is quicker than the journey between Luton railway station and Luton airport. The hon. Gentleman might be pleasantly surprised if he sampled Birmingham on his next trip abroad.

The "dissidents" on both sides of the House are worried. The Secretary of State said that approval had been given for between 7 million and 8 million passengers per annum at Stansted. That is not so. I fear that tonight we shall approve a maximum of 15 million PPA at Stansted because if we accept the Government motion we shall give the green light to create the infrastructure to enable Stansted to deal with 15 million PPA.

If it is necessary formally to approve that expansion the Secretary of State would be less than human if he did not say that it would be silly for the House to refuse approval for up to 15 million PPA if the infrastructure were already in place. It would then be necessary for the Conservative Whips to exercise their not-so-subtle armtwisting on one or two rebels, but I have no doubt the Government would get their Majority. Although we do not approve of the Government's proposals, we want the 8 million maximum to be adhered to. I hope that the Secretary of State will be persuaded to publish the BAA infrastructure proposals so that the House can judge whether we are getting value for money. That is not a controversial request since value for money is one of the Secretary of State's favourite phrases. That would provide Parliament with a check on the BAA proposals and the financial realities behind them.

We also seek a proper commitment to the regions and some real encouragement to international services from regional airports. We have heard the saga of Singapore Airlines and we know that the March application was not the first or even the second. Airlines and airports do not operate in isolation and the Secretary of State can scarcely allege that the informed newspaper commentators invented the stories about Singapore Airlines being told to relinquish various slots at Heathrow before they could fly into Manchester. That is not the much-vaunted freedom of the sky that the Government are always talking about. It is a deliberate attempt to control landings and take-offs at one airport by withholding permission for an international airline to fly to a regional airport. That is the kind of attitude that annoys Members on both sides who represent constituencies in the regions.

We also demand assurances about subsidies for Stansted. My right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) and various Conservative Members have referred to the fact that landing charges at Stansted are among the lowest in the United Kingdom. The British Airports Authority, whether it is in the public sector or the private sector, will be tempted to gain the maximum benefit from that, bearing in mind the expansion approved by the Government. Neither the Secretary of State nor any of those who profess to support privatisation have produced a shred of evidence that it would benefit airline passengers in any way at all. We have not heard very much from the Secretary of State about the need to please the customer in this context. The customer has never been consulted about this piece of ideological nonsense. If the Secretary of State has his way, this will be the only country in the world with privatised airports subject to the whims and fancies of virtually self-appointed management. The Secretary of State says that he does not agree with airport management by committee, but what the hell is a board of directors if not a committee? I do not know what experience the right hon. Gentleman has in these or any other matters but he is proposing to transfer control of our airports to the private sector without any consultation with the customers who use them.

Mr. John Mark Taylor:

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will give way when I come to his contribution.

The White Paper also refers to road and rail links with Stansted. My hon. Friend the Member for Bootle (Mr. Roberts) said that British Rail would probably cook the books and produce some figures to support a rail link to Stansted, but I think that it will have difficulty doing so on the present traffic forecasts. Britain's premier international airport has no surface rail link and traffic to and from it is frequently subject to enormous traffic jams so that passengers miss flights all over the world.

We also need assurances about who is to pay for the infrastructure at Stansted. We are told that much-needed expansion and improvement of the internal road network will be paid for by the British Airports Authority while necessary improvement of the M11 to the Stansted perimeter will be paid for by the Department of Transport. I do not often find myself defending the British Railways Board, but I think that it could legitimately grouse that if the cost of every other part of the infrastructure is being met by someone else it should not have to finance the railway line. If the Secretary of State is so anxious and determined to develop Stansted one would expect him to make a proper financial contribution to the whole infrastructure rather than just to part of it.

This is a debate about Britain's overall aviation business. I wish to refer to a story that appeared on the front page of the Sunday Times Business News only yesterday. Under the headline Ministers in fury at Lonrho ploy is a rather fetching picture of the Secretary of State, with the caption Nicholas Ridley: particularly annoyed".

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

The right hon. Gentleman may be a little windblown, but it is none the less a fetching picture. Mr. George Jones, political correspondent of the Sunday Times—obviously a well-informed journalist who perhaps wrote the article on Lobby terms—said: Last night ministers were voicing their anger that such a senior Conservative"— they were talking about the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), the former Chairman of the 1922 Committee— should be involved in legal action which threatens a major plank of the government's privatisation programme. Nicholas Ridley, the transport secretary, is known to be particularly annoyed". Annoyance from the right hon. Gentleman is not unheard of, either in this place or outside. However, a story appeared tonight on the Press Association tapes under the heading "Lonrho hits back". It says: Lonrho today hit back at a Government Minister's accusation that the company's multi-million pound American court action with Sir Freddie Laker for damages against British Airways was a 'try-on'. A board statement described the comment by Transport Secretary Nicholas Ridley as misinformed and emotive.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

He is rarely emotive. The story continued that the company today claimed that the Government 'actively encouraged' them to team up with Sir Freddie after the Laker collapse in 1982. The statement said that Mr. Iain Sproat, then Minister responsible for aviation, held meetings with both sides". I do not admire Mr. Sproat's political judgment. As we all know, he left a seat which was won by the Conservatives and took one that was won by the Liberals. Nevertheless, it is to say the least surprising that Ministers in the last Conservative Government were actively involved in encouraging a company such as Lonrho to act in direct competition with British Airways, for which they have financial responsibility in that the taxpayer eventually picks up the bill. Perhaps we can have some explanation of those actions—[Interruption.] It is impossible to talk about aviation policy without mentioning the story that involves the Secretary of State for Transport and Britain's premier airline, which the Government hope to place in the private sector at a suitable price in the not too distant future.

That brings me to a contribution to our debate which was never made.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

The hon. Gentleman should confine himself to airports policy and not refer to speeches that have not been made.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

That is exactly what I am doing. An airports policy is the subject of this story, which refers to a speech made in this House—except that it was not. I shall explain that in a second.

A story in The Standard tonight, under the headline MPs call for Athens boycott", says: MPs today called on Transport Secretary Mr. Nicholas Ridley to recommend to British airlines a boycott of Athens airport until its 'abysmal' security precautions are tightened up. They urged him to make the recommendation during today's Commons debate on London's third airport". The author says: This sounds drastic, but we must have regard for the safety of British people".

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. If the hon. Gentleman concerned had mentioned the subject of Athens airport, I would have been bound to rule him out of order because we are talking about British airports.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

The hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Bendall) did not mention it because he was not here to do so. That illustrates the folly of speaking to newspaper reporters about matters that one does not quite understand. Perhaps we should point that out to the right hon. Gentleman. The path that the debate has taken owes a great deal to the artful nature of the proposals in the White Paper.

The Labour party was attacked for the failure of the Secretary of State to secure the passage of the Civil Aviation Bill on three occasions since Christmas. I make no comments on the competence of the Minister charged with getting the Bill through Committee, with an overall majority of four over the combined opposition parties. However, his defeat on the two central questions of air traffic movements at Heathrow, and the auctioning of slots at Heathrow, was due to the actions of no fewer than four Conservative Members on two separate occasions. It will not do for the Secretary of State to attack the Labour Members of the Committee.

The Secretary of State palpably failed to convince his hon. Friends about what he was trying to do, and has still palpably failed to convince his hon. Friends that the compromise that he has stitched together this evening is the right one for Britain. Early in the debate, we heard from the right hon. Member for Spelthorne (Sir H. Atkins) that there was a need for regulation. I wondered whether we were hearing a former Conservative Chief Whip. He wanted the regulation of air traffic movement and of noise around Heathrow airport for the benefit of his constituents. The only thing that he wanted to deregulate was airports—some inconsistency there. Although he spoke loyally, as a former Chief Whip would be expected to, he also expressed some concern.

The hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst) made his usual courageous speech, and left the House in no doubt as to which way he would vote this evening. The hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Favell) was another Conservative objector, this time on charter flights from Stansted. He knows that the proposals in the White Paper will lead to a further drain of flights away from regional airports to the south of England.

The one Conservative Member who gave full support to the Secretary of State was the hon. Member for Crawley (Mr. Soames), who claimed, in his usual modest fashion, to have massively influenced the Secretary of State's decision. I would be the first to concede that he has massive influence, but I never heard an hon. Member make such an appalling cauldron of claptrap in my life. From anybody else it might have been embarrasing, but from the hon. Gentleman it amused hon. Members on both sides of the House. As he represents Crawley, and those living around Gatwick airport, he has something to crow about, but I am not sure about the depths of his influence. He can seek to influence the House about that at some other time.

The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks) also had some strong words for his right hon. Friend. He described the Secretary of State as being clever and devious. He was half right.

The hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Wilkinson) made one of his customary speeches. He made no secret of where his sympathies lay. He demonstrated once again that he is interested in the expansion of Heathrow airport and, for that reason, is against both air traffic movement limits and any suggestion that flights to and from that airport should be restricted. He referred to the saga of Maplin 10 years ago and also, in my view correctly, demanded better surface access to Heathrow.

I mention the contribution of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. Again, modesty has never held back the hon. Gentleman's career, and I make no further comment about that. He insists that he was right 10 years ago with Maplin, and he says that he is still right today.

I found the speech of the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Sir F. Montgomery) sycophantic. That is about the only description that I can apply to it. He is apparently the one hon. Member with a constituency in the Manchester area who thinks that Manchester airport has got a good deal.

The hon. Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) supported Stansted. He would. He is always complaining about Heathrow, so I think that we can leave his contribution on one side fairly quickly.

The hon. Member for Solihull (Mr. Taylor) defended Birmingham airport but wanted to see it privatised. He had better start explaining that to some of his Conservative colleagues on the West Midlands county council which he used to lead with some little distinction—I do not emphasise any specific word in that phrase.

Of course, the Tories will win in the Division, but we all know—even those hon. Members who support their Government in the Lobby—that the hard decisions have been merely postponed and will not go away. For the fact that the Government get away with it tonight some credit is due, reluctantly, to the Secretary of State. But the House should make no mistake. He will be back. Let us hope that on that occasion there is some backbone in those Conservative Members who tonight will sell short British aviation.

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 11:32 pm, 17th June 1985

I congratulate the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape) on one count. Usually when he has nothing to say he abandons himself to hysterical abuse about the Secretary of State. His was an extraordinary speech. As a substitute for an Opposition Front Bench speech on airports policy, he read the House an item from a Sunday newspaper and then talked about Greek airports, presumably because Greek airports are part of our airports policy in his book.

On aviation policy, the official Opposition have nothing positive to say. Their recently published "Charter for Transport" at least had the honesty to recognise this by saying precisely nothing about aviation.

Even the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) can do better than the performance of the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East, though not much better. Occasionally she mutters something rude about terminal 5. She did it during the debate on 30 January. Then she remembers that regional lobbies want the terminal built, and she goes into a mumble on the subject, as she did today.

Aviation is not one of those declining, state subsidised, demarcation-split industries which the Opposition make their own. The House may think it best if on this occasion a thick veil is drawn across both the Opposition and their hypocritical amendment which, as my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Sir F. Montgomery) pointed out, flies in the face of their own White Paper and of many of their public pronouncements in the House and elsewhere.

Contrary to the expectations of some and the hopes of others, this has been a deeply thoughtful debate. The anxieties expressed have been genuine and demand specific responses.

Many points have been made and several clearly defined themes have emerged. First, there have been the anxieties of those who represent the constituencies around Stansted, most notably my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst). These have been, above all, about the effect of planning decisions on the daily lives of their constituents, especially the effect of noise and of a possible threat of urban sprawl.

Then there have been the speeches of hon. Members who represent regional, especially northern, constituencies extolling the virtues of their airports—sometimes, as we have seen tonight in conflict with each other: for example, the interests of Scotland and Manchester. Those hon. Members who are concerned about noise and nuisance at Heathrow have sought reassurance about terminal 5 and the ATM limit. Other hon. Members feel that the Government have not taken sufficient account of Heathrow's potential for further utilisation. Finally, there have been hon. Members who have spoken for no particular regional interest but either to support British aviation in general or to voice their concern, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman) about the effect on the environment of too rapid a development of the industry. Finally, the Liberal party's views do not seem to fit into any category, although the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) recently admitted that he had changed his mind about Stansted. He used to believe that it could take 15 million passengers. He now thinks that 5 million passengers would be about right. The House will have to form its conclusions about the resolve of the Liberal party on this matter, as on others.

I shall try to respond to the major themes that have been raised. The first matter about which I have fully to satisfy the House is whether we really need the development at Stansted and, as has been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) at Luton: whether, for instance, we could have avoided taking the decision to expand these airports by making better use, as some have suggested, of Heathrow and Gatwick. In one sense, only time will tell. The White Paper is cautious about forecasting beyond 1995. It is not, however, a matter of clever forecasting or even guesswork but of contemporary fact that as we sit here tonight we have already reached saturation point at certain peak hours at Heathrow and Gatwick. The White Paper makes it clear that even in 1984 Heathrow was working at full capacity for at least five hours a day for the majority of a seven-month summer season, and at Gatwick runway capacity was fully subscribed for seven hours on one or more days a week during August.

Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth , Cannock and Burntwood

Does not my hon. Friend agree that although Heathrow may be saturated at certain peak hours it cannot possibly be the case that Heathrow is completly saturated until such time as the available slots are not taken up by airlines and they move elsewhere? Until that happens there is no need to put an ATM limit on Heathrow. Therefore, it is up to the airlines to decide when Heathrow is full.

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

My hon. Friend the Member for Cannock and Burntwood (Mr. Howarth) has given a great deal of thought to the capacity at Heathrow and I shall have further comments to make about it. But whether or not distribution should be left to the scheduling committee, at peak hours there is a capacity problem. The question is not whether or not we should do something, but what we should do, and that problem is with us already.

The urgency of the question is caused by the continuing astonishing growth of traffic in the London system, which has been at an 8 per cent. compound rate during the past 24 years and is now growing even faster. An important part of our case is that this has happened despite the equally astounding traffic growth at many of the regional airports, in particular at Manchester, Glasgow, East Midlands and Bristol. Incidentally, we forecast that regional traffic would grow at even faster rate than in the London system.

Some of my hon. Friends, including my hon Friend the Member for Cannock and Burntwood, have argued that saturation of the London system is more apparent than real. They have said, for instance, that airports in America are able to accommodate a higher landing and take-off rate per hour than does either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Leaving aside the fact that the Americans seem to be prepared to accept longer delays at their airports than our travelling public, the argument ignores one rather important factor, which is the special mix of aircraft at Heathrow and Gatwick, to which reference has been made this evening. The matter is complex, and I do not intend to bore the House with it. The House might consider whether a Select Committee should probe the matter a little more deeply. Broadly, the problem is one that air turbulence left in the wake of large aircraft can seriously destabilise the smaller aircraft following behind.

As the proportion of larger aircraft rises, so the spacing between the aircraft must widen and the total number of landings diminishes. That is the reason—and this meets the concern of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel)—that despite the fact that we have removed the air transport movement limit at Heathrow, we expect ATMs, having risen to 300,000, to fall back to more than 290,000 by 1990 and right back to 275,000 by the year 2000. I hope that that is some reassurance to my hon. Friends, especially my right hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Sir H. Atkins) and my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley).

Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst , Saffron Walden

How does my hon. Friend attempt to disprove to the House the careful and detailed analysis of Mr. Graham Eyre which showed the very opposite of what my hon. Friend is saying?

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I listened to that point in my hon. Friend's speech, as I always listen to his points. One answer is that Mr. Eyre did not have at his disposal all the facts that we know now—for instance, the effect of our liberalisation policy on traffic into Heathrow. He did not know that traffic from Edinburgh into the London system was this year to rise by 20 per cent., which it has. Therefore, there are new facts as a result of our liberalisation and competition policies.

We expect that landing capacity at Heathrow will fall from its present rate of 34 aircraft per hour to 32 aircraft as the proportion of heavy aircraft rises. I hope that the House will accept that after terminal 4 becomes operational, the development at Heathrow will be constrained not by lack of terminal space but by take-offs and landings—in other words, landing capacity. If a fifth terminal were to be built to give a capacity of 53 million passengers in the year 2000, with a 275,000 ATM limit, average aircraft loadings would need to increase from their present level of 112 passengers to 193. That point was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne. That is an average increase in passenger loadings of 3·5 per cent. per year. It compares with an increase in the last 10 years of 2·3 per cent. That is making dramatic assumptions about the average loadings of aircraft for terminal 5 to be viable.

The main reason we have decided not to go ahead with T5 is that as we sit here tonight we do not need it—

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

On the question of Heathrow and night flights, as no fewer than six Conservative Members—my right hon. Friends the Members for Spelthorne (Sir H. Atkins) and for Worthing (Mr. Higgins), my hon. Friends the Members for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley), for Windsor and Maidenhead (Dr. Glyn) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) and I have all expressed anxiety, can the Government reassure us, and put us in a position to tell our constituents, that they will not permit any increase in night flights through Heathrow following the refusal of planning permission for a fifth terminal but no ATM limit?

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I can give my hon. Friend the assurance that we have no intention of removing night flying restrictions at Heathrow. What is more, the position is at present satisfactory in that there is under-utilisation of the night quotas, particularly by noisy aircraft.

The next question I have to answer is whether, given the constraints on the London system, we could do more to divert traffic to the regions. That question was asked by many hon. Members on both sides of the House. What the Government have done for regional and local airports is, by now, well known to my hon. Friends, if not to Opposition Members. Since 1979, £200 million has been allocated for capital development, and hundreds of route licences have been issued to airlines wishing to fly from regional airports. As the House knows, 1,500 routes can now be operated from regional airports to foreign destinations, although only 100 of those have been taken up.

Photo of Mr Robin Corbett Mr Robin Corbett Opposition Whip (Commons)

Is the Minister saying, as I say, that London and the south-east is a region no more and no less than any other region? Or is he saying that, by some sleight of hand, London has suddenly become a national airport?

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The London system is the airport system of the capital city of the nation. That is a fact of life, as it happens to be a fact that many people want, for whatever reason, to travel by that system. I am simply saying that a vast opportunity has been given in the form of route licences to regions outside the London system, but that few, in terms of international flights, have been taken up.

Manchester, however, serves 33 foreign destinations with scheduled services, 14 of which have been started in the last year. Birmingham supports 15 foreign routes, four of which have been started in the last year. The growth rates at regional airports, as has been said, have been phenomenal in the last year or so.

Last year the number of passengers travelling through Manchester grew by 17 per cent., which was an enormous growth rate, particularly taking account of the base. The comparable figure at Bristol was 27·8 per cent.; for the east midlands it was 12·7 per cent.; and the Humberside rate grew by the extraordinary figure of 53·6 per cent. The hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, North (Mr. Brown) said that Newcastle airport was growing successfully. I hope that we shall be able to do even more for Newcastle in the months ahead.

In pressing forward with their plans and policies for regional airports the Government have been greatly encouraged by the tireless efforts, on behalf of their local airports, of many of my hon. Friends, especially those representing constituencies in the north. The Government therefore paid particular attention to the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester. Withington (Mr. Silvester) when he spoke in June of this year and said: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on continuing to be the Minister who has done most for regional airports of any since the war".—[Official Report, 5 June 1985; Vol. 80, c. 315.] My hon. Friend will not mind my saying that no sooner had he sat down than he was arranging to see my right hon. Friend and myself to keep the pressure on us. It was, in that case, about the American Airlines application to fly into Manchester from Chicago. The matter was raised again today by my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale—

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I want to deal with the American Airlines point. In any event, having listened for seven hours to the debate, I feel that I should now give some answers.

We have said that we welcome the opportunity to discuss the issue with the United States Government, and we have arranged to meet them about it at an early date. We are now in the process of discussing with United Kingdom interests affected, including Manchester airport, the basis on which the necessary traffic rights should be made available to American Airlines. I hope that we can speedily conclude with the United States Government a satisfactory basis, under the Bermuda 2 air services agreement, on which United States airlines can be allowed to develop services to Manchester. As my right hon. Friend has said, we shall need to bear in mind in all our negotiations that it is British airlines and not foreign ones which create the most jobs in Britain. that is one answer at least to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) when he calls for an open skies policy for Manchester.

The positive approach of my right hon. and hon. Friends who represent constituencies in the north—for example, my hon. Friends the Members for Wyre (Sir. W. Clegg), for Manchester, Withington and for Altrincham and Sale—has coincided with that of the director of Manchester international airport, Mr. Gil Thompson, who, contrary to some of the aspersions which have been cast by Opposition Members, has been single minded, not to say ruthless in his determination further to develop the airport, and who last week publicly accepted the White Paper as giving great new hope for Manchester international airport.

As we are witnessing now, this positive attitude is in strong contrast with the persistent, ungenerous, and falsely based carping which we have had from Opposition Members tonight and on other occasions. They are so much the victims of their own propaganda and false rhetoric that they themselves constitute the main danger that Manchester airport faces by threatening to talk it out of its own success.

For our part, we shall continue to press ahead, especially with our discussions with governments in Europe, to try to build on the existing fairly liberal inter-regional air services regime. We see no reason, for instance, why the type of aircraft benefiting from the EEC inter-regional regime should be restricted to 70-seaters as it is now.

Only last week I was in Scandinavia seeking to establish a regime for interregional travel which would allow any airline to fly between regional points using any aircraft charging any fare subject to the approval of the country of origin only. I am delighted to say that the Scandinavian countries have agreed that discussions of this and other matters should for the first time be pursued at official level. Increased aviation business with Scandinavia can only benefit our northern airports.

The fact is that in co-operation with the Manchester airport authorities and with the persistent encouragement of my right hon. and hon. Friends, from the north-west, we are developing Manchester international airport into one of the most successful hubs in western Europe. This success will be maintained unless the Labour and Liberal parties manage to talk down our efforts to the point where the new confidence is undermined and the present astonishing momentum is brought to a halt.

I turn next, and most importantly, to the very understandable list of issues which have been raised by my hon. Friends representing constituencies around Stansted. Much of what we have done to ensure that, subject to the necessary legislation, Parliament will be able to control the expansion of traffic at Stansted, has arisen directly out of the very effective representations that my hon. Friends have made to us, notably by my hon. Friends the Members for Saffron Walden, for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells), for Harlow (Mr. Hayes) and for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). In the same way, my right hon. Friend and I have listened very carefully to the many constructive comments that my hon. Friends have made about several specific aspects of the White Paper as it affects Stansted airport.

On the question of the possible over-rapid development of Stansted through cross-subsidies from the profits made at Heathrow and Gatwick, and on the related question of the structure of the ownership of the privatised airports, we recognise, of course, that these matters will be the subject of detailed discussion when the House debates the Bill that we intend to bring before it as soon as possible. That Bill will certainly contain measures to ensure that the accounts of the various airport plcs are separate and totally transparent and that all loans, for instance made to the Stansted plc, are paid for at market rates of interest. It is important that watching over the new companies—this answers some of the snide comments of Opposition Members—and their operations will be the Civil Aviation Authority, which will be given new powers to ensure above all that airport charges at Stansted are related to costs and that the BAA is not able to attract business from airports in the north by predatory pricing. Once every five years, the BAA would be subject to a review by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

As to the arguments for and against the separate ownership of BAA airports in the London system, we recognise that these are finely balanced. The point that above all persuaded us when drafting the White Paper is that the BAA airports do not in a true sense compete with each other. If the airports were separated, airlines would undoubtedly scramble for access to Heathrow until charges there were so high as to produce astronomical profits and as completely to prohibit entry by smaller, particularly domestic, airlines. That aspect is extremely important in relation to the regions.

Photo of Mr Bowen Wells Mr Bowen Wells , Hertford and Stortford

Will my hon. Friend assure me that the expansion of the terminal building at Stansted will be phased in relation to demand, and not in accordance with what the BAA deemed to be its given right to develop a terminal with a capacity of 15 million PPA?

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The condition for granting planning permission was clear. It said: The phasing of the construction … shall be as may be agreed from time to time with the local planning authority: provided that in the first phase of construction of the terminal building, its net floor area … shall not exceed 50,000 sq metres. This condition could hardly be clearer. It will not be possible for the BAA to go ahead immediately with the construction of a terminal that does not meet this restriction.

Three other specific anxieties have been raised by those representing Stansted airport. The first is noise. The White Paper is very clear that we shall at a minimum apply the noise restrictions which currently exist at Gatwick and Heathrow. These include night quotas, especially for noisier aircraft. The Establishment of noise preferential routes and noise limits at take-off. Noise insulation grants will be available.

The White Paper shows how these measures, together with the impending ban on noisier aircraft, have been successful in substantially reducing the area covered by the 35 noise and number index. Nevertheless, we are considering what further measures we can take—for instance, whether insulation grants should be made available to schools and hospitals and whether owners of noise-blighted properties should be able to require an airport authority to purchase them. We certainly agree with the inspector that airport authorities should be able to acquire, by agreement with the owners, those properties that are seriously affected by noise.

Secondly, I can give this assurance on urbanisation. There is no question of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the environment granting indiscriminate planning permission in the way feared by some of my hon. Friends. I can assure the House that no change in our general policy towards the green belt is implied by our decisions at Stansted.

Thirdly, I can certainly confirm that the British Airports Authority will be selling the land around Stansted which was identified during the public inquiry as being surplus to the requirements of a single runway airport. The sale of this surplus land will be allowed for in the calculation of the BAA's next external finance limit.

It is as well that we should be clear that what we have been discussing tonight—though it has been hard for the Opposition to accept it—have been the problems of success. The British aviation industry, as Conservative Member after Conservative Member has stressed, is now the strongest and the most successful outside the United States. No other country outside America can boast two profitable and popular long haul carriers, three large medium distance international airlines, several more strong domestic airlines and as many as 20 commuter and short haul carriers.

Our airports, too, dominate the international network. Heathrow is the busiest international airport in the world and Gatwick the fourth busiest. Manchester international is one of the largest airports in Europe, outranking those of many European capitals. Most of this astonishing success has been created in the lifetime of this Government.

Our aviation policy has been designed to build on this success by striving for further excellence through competition; by opening up air travel to more and more of our citizens; by creating more jobs around British airlines and British airports; but, above all, by presenting to the House tonight a policy that provides for the needs of the aviation industry, while at the same time containing the nuisance for those who live around airports—a policy which for the first time in living memory, is an airports strategy for the whole nation.

I ask the House to vote for the motion standing in the names of my right hon. Friends.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 174, Noes 332.

Division No. 239][12.00 midnight
AYES
Abse, LeoEwing, Harry
Alton, DavidFatchett, Derek
Anderson, DonaldFaulds, Andrew
Archer, Rt Hon PeterField, Frank (Birkenhead)
Ashdown, PaddyFields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)
Ashley, Rt Hon JackFisher, Mark
Ashton, JoeFoot, Rt Hon Michael
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)Forrester, John
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Foster, Derek
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Foulkes, George
Barnett. GuyFraser, J. (Norwood)
Barron, KevinGeorge, Bruce
Bell, StuartGilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Benn, TonyGodman, Dr Norman
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)Golding, John
Bermingham, GeraldGould, Bryan
Bidwell, SydneyGourlay, Harry
Blair, AnthonyHamilton, James (M'well N)
Boothroyd, Miss BettyHardy, Peter
Boyes, RolandHarrison, Rt Hon Walter
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)Haynes, Frank
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)Heffer, Eric S.
Buchan, NormanHogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Caborn, RichardHome Robertson, John
Campbell, IanHughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Carter-Jones, LewisHughes, Roy (Newport East)
Cartwright, JohnHughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Janner, Hon Greville
Clarke, ThomasJohn, Brynmor
Clwyd, Mrs AnnKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)Kennedy, Charles
Cohen, HarryKilroy-Silk, Robert
Conlan, BernardLambie, David
Cook, Frank (Stockton North)Lamond, James
Corbett, RobinLeadbitter, Ted
Corbyn, JeremyLeighton, Ronald
Cowans, HarryLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Craigen, J. M.Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Crowther, StanLitherland, Robert
Cunliffe, LawrenceLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cunningham, Dr JohnMcCartney, Hugh
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Deakins, EricMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Dewar, DonaldMcKelvey, William
Dobson, FrankMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Dormand, JackMcNamara, Kevin
Douglas, DickMcTaggart, Robert
Duffy, A. E. P.McWilliam, John
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.Madden, Max
Eadie, AlexMarek, Dr John
Eastham, KenMarshall, David (Shettleston)
Martin, MichaelRyman, John
Maxton, JohnSedgemore, Brian
Maynard, Miss JoanSheldon, Rt Hon R.
Meacher, MichaelShore, Rt Hon Peter
Meadowcroft, MichaelShort, Mrs R. (W'hampt'n NE)
Michie, WilliamSilkin, Rt Hon J.
Mikardo, IanSkinner, Dennis
Millan, Rt Hon BruceSmith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)Snape, Peter
Nellist, DavidSoley, Clive
Oakes, Rt Hon GordonSpearing, Nigel
O'Brien, WilliamStewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Orme, Rt Hon StanleyStott, Roger
Owen, Rt Hon Dr DavidStraw, Jack
Park, GeorgeThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Parry, RobertThorne, Stan (Preston)
Patchett, TerryTinn, James
Pavitt, LaurieWainwright, R.
Pendry, TomWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)Wareing, Robert
Prescott, JohnWeetch, Ken
Radice, GilesWelsh, Michael
Randall, StuartWhite, James
Redmond, M.Williams, Rt Hon A.
Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)Wilson, Gordon
Richardson, Ms JoWinnick, David
Roberts, Allan (Bootle)Woodall, Alec
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)Wrigglesworth, Ian
Robertson, GeorgeYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Rooker, J. W.Tellers for the Ayes:
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Mr. Don Dixon and
Rowlands, TedMr. Peter Pike.
NOES
Aitken, JonathanButterfill, John
Alexander, RichardCarlisle, John (N Luton)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Amery, Rt Hon JulianCarlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)
Amess, DavidCash, William
Ancram, MichaelChalker, Mrs Lynda
Arnold, TomChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Ashby, DavidChope, Christopher
Aspinwall, JackChurchill, W. S.
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y)Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Clegg, Sir Walter
Baldry, TonyCockeram, Eric
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Colvin, Michael
Batiste, SpencerCoombs, Simon
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCope, John
Bellingham, HenryCouchman, James
Bendall, VivianCritchley, Julian
Benyon, WilliamCrouch, David
Best, KeithCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDickens, Geoffrey
Blackburn, JohnDorrell, Stephen
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDouglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDover, Den
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Boyson, Dr RhodesDunn, Robert
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardDurant, Tony
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDykes, Hugh
Bright, GrahamEdwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Brinton, TimEggar, Tim
Brooke, Hon PeterEmery, Sir Peter
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Evennett, David
Browne, JohnEyre, Sir Reginald
Bruinvels, PeterFairbairn, Nicholas
Bryan, Sir PaulFallon, Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.Farr, Sir John
Buck, Sir AntonyFenner, Mrs Peggy
Budgen, NickFinsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Burt, AlistairFletcher, Alexander
Butcher, JohnFookes, Miss Janet
Butler, Hon AdamForman, Nigel
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Forth, EricLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Fowler, Rt Hon NormanLewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Fox, MarcusLightbown, David
Franks, CecilLilley, Peter
Fraser, Peter (Angus East)Lloyd, Ian (Havant)
Freeman, RogerLloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Fry peterLord, Michael
Gale, RogerLuce, Richard
Galley, RoyLyell, Nicholas
Gardiner, George (Reigate)McCurley, Mrs Anna
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)Macfarlane, Neil
Garel-Jones, TristanMacGregor, John
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir IanMacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Glyn, Dr AlanMacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMaclean, David John
Goodlad, AlastairMcNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Gorst, JohnMajor, John
Gow, IanMalins, Humfrey
Gower, Sir RaymondMalone, Gerald
Gregory, ConalMaples, John
Griffiths, Sir EldonMarland, Paul
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)Marlow, Antony
Grist, IanMarshall, Michael (Arundel)
Ground, PatrickMates, Michael
Grylls, MichaelMaude, Hon Francis
Gummer, John SelwynMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Mellor, David
Hampson, Dr KeithMeyer, Sir Anthony
Hanley, JeremyMiller, Hal (B'grove)
Hannam, JohnMills, Iain (Meriden)
Hargreaves, KennethMills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Harris, DavidMiscampbell, Norman
Havers, Rt Hon Sir MichaelMitchell, David (NW Hants)
Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)Moate, Roger
Hawksley, WarrenMonro, Sir Hector
Hayhoe, Rt Hon BarneyMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Hayward, RobertMoore, John
Heath, Rt Hon EdwardMorris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMorrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Heddle, JohnMorrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Henderson, BarryMoynihan, Hon C.
Hickmet, RichardNeale, Gerrard
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Needham, Richard
Hind, KennethNelson, Anthony
Hirst, MichaelNeubert, Michael
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Newton, Tony
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)Nicholls, Patrick
Holt, RichardNormanton, Tom
Hordern, Sir PeterNorris, Steven
Howard, MichaelOnslow, Cranley
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)Oppenheim, Phillip
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'Idford)Osborn, Sir John
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)Ottaway, Richard
Hubbard-Miles, PeterPage, Sir John (Harrow W)
Hunt, David (Wirral)Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Irving, CharlesParris, Matthew
Jackson, RobertPatten, Christopher (Bath)
Jessel, TobyPatten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyPattie, Geoffrey
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Pawsey, James
Jones, Robert (W Herts)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelPercival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir KeithPollock, Alexander
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs ElainePorter, Barry
Kershaw, Sir AnthonyPortillo, Michael
King, Roger (B'ham N'field)Powell, William (Corby)
King, Rt Hon TomPowley, John
Knight, Gregory (Derby N)Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Knowles, MichaelPrice, Sir David
Lamont, NormanPrior, Rt Hon James
Lang, IanProctor, K. Harvey
Latham, MichaelRaffan, Keith
Lawler, GeoffreyRathbone, Tim
Lawrence, IvanRees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Lawson, Rt Hon NigelRenton, Tim
Lee, John (Pendle)Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Ridley, Rt Hon NicholasTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Ridsdale, Sir JulianTerlezki, Stefan
Rifkind, MalcolmThatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Robinson, Mark (N'port W)Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Roe, Mrs MarionThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Rossi, Sir HughThorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Rost, PeterTownend, John (Bridlington)
Rowe, AndrewTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Rumbold, Mrs AngelaTracey, Richard
Ryder, RichardTrippier, David
Sackville, Hon ThomasTrotter, Neville
Sainsbury, Hon TimothyTwinn, Dr Ian
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Sayeed, JonathanViggers, Peter
Scott, NicholasWaddington, David
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')Waldegrave, Hon William
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Walden, George
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Shersby, MichaelWalker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Silvester, FredWaller, Gary
Sims, RogerWalters, Dennis
Skeet, T. H. H.Ward, John
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Soames, Hon NicholasWarren, Kenneth
Speed, KeithWatson, John
Speller, TonyWatts, John
Spencer, DerekWells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)Wheeler, John
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Whitfield, John
Squire, RobinWhitney, Raymond
Stanbrook, IvorWiggin, Jerry
Stanley, JohnWilkinson, John
Steen, AnthonyWinterton, Mrs Ann
Stern, MichaelWolfson, Mark
Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)Wood, Timothy
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Woodcock, Michael
Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)Yeo, Tim
Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)Young, Sir George (Acton)
Stokes, JohnYounger, Rt Hon George
Stradling Thomas, J.
Sumberg, DavidTellers for the Noes:
Taylor, John (Solihull)Mr. Robert Boscawen and
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)Mr. Carol Mather.

Question accordingly negatived.

Main question put:

The House divided: Ayes 326, Noes 190.

Division No. 240][12.14 am
AYES
Aitken, JonathanBoyson, Dr Rhodes
Alexander, RichardBraine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBrandon-Bravo, Martin
Amery, Rt Hon JulianBright, Graham
Amess, DavidBrinton, Tim
Ancram, MichaelBrooke, Hon Peter
Arnold, TomBrown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)
Ashby, DavidBrowne, John
Aspinwall, JackBruinvels, Peter
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Bryan, Sir Paul
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Buck, Sir Antony
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y)Budgen, Nick
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Burt, Alistair
Baldry, TonyButcher, John
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Butler, Hon Adam
Batiste, SpencerButterfill, John
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCarlisle, John (N Luton)
Bellingham, HenryCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Bendall, VivianCarlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)
Benyon, WilliamCash, William
Best, KeithChalker, Mrs Lynda
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Blackburn, JohnChope, Christopher
Bonsor, Sir NicholasChurchill, W. S.
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Clegg. Sir WalterHowell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Colvin, MichaelHowell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Coombs, SimonHubbard-Miles, Peter
Cope, JohnHunt, David (Wirral)
Couchman, JamesHunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Crouch, DavidIrving, Charles
Currie, Mrs EdwinaJackson, Robert
Dickens, GeoffreyJessel, Toby
Dorrell, StephenJohnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dover, DenJones, Robert (W Herts)
du Cann, Rt Hon Sir EdwardJopling, Rt Hon Michael
Dunn, RobertJoseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Durant, TonyKellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Dykes, HughKershaw, Sir Anthony
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Eggar, TimKing, Rt Hon Tom
Emery, Sir PeterKnight, Gregory (Derby N)
Evennett, DavidKnowles, Michael
Eyre, Sir ReginaldLamont, Norman
Fairbairn, NicholasLang, Ian
Fallon, MichaelLatham, Michael
Farr, Sir JohnLawler, Geoffrey
Fenner, Mrs PeggyLawrence, Ivan
Finsberg, Sir GeoffreyLawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Fletcher, AlexanderLee, John (Pendle)
Fookes, Miss JanetLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Forman, NigelLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Forth, EricLightbown, David
Fowler, Rt Hon NormanLilley, Peter
Fox, MarcusLloyd, Ian (Havant)
Franks, CecilLloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Fraser, Peter (Angus East)Lord, Michael
Freeman, RogerLuce, Richard
Fry, PeterLyell, Nicholas
Gale, RogerMcCurley, Mrs Anna
Galley, RoyMacfarlane, Neil
Gardiner, George (Reigate)MacGregor, John
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Garel-Jones, TristanMacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir IanMaclean, David John
Glyn, Dr AlanMcNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMajor, John
Goodlad, AlastairMalins, Humfrey
Gorst, JohnMalone, Gerald
Gow, IanMaples, John
Gower, Sir RaymondMarland, Paul
Gregory, ConalMarlow, Antony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Grist, IanMates, Michael
Ground, patrickMaude, Hon Francis
Grylls, MichaelMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Gummer, John SelwynMayhew, Sir Patrick
Hamilton Hon A. (Epsom)Mellor, David
Hamilton. Neil (Tatton)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Hampson, Dr KeithMiller, Hal (B'grove)
Hanley, JeremyMills, Iain (Meriden)
Hannam, JohnMills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Hargreaves, KennethMiscampbell, Norman
Harris, DavidMitchell, David (NW Hants)
Havers, Rt Hon Sir MichaelMoate, Roger
Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)Monro, Sir Hector
Hawksley, WarrenMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Hayhoe, Rt Hon BarneyMoore, John
Hayward, RobertMorris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Heath, Rt Hon EdwardMorrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMorrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Heddle, JohnMoynihan, Hon C.
Henderson, BarryNeale, Gerrard
Hickmet, RichardNeedham, Richard
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Nelson, Anthony
Hind, KennethNeubert, Michael
Hirst, MichaelNewton, Tony
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Nicholls, Patrick
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)Normanton, Tom
Holt, RichardNorris, Steven
Hordern, Sir PeterOnslow, Cranely
Howard, MichaelOppenheim, Phillip
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.Stanbrook, Ivor
Osborn, Sir JohnStanley, John
Ottaway, RichardSteen, Anthony
Page, Sir John (Harrow W)Stern, Michael
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Parkinson, Rt Hon CecilStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Parris, MatthewStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Patten, Christopher (Bath)Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)Stokes, John
Pattie, GeoffreyStradling Thomas, J.
Pawsey, JamesSumberg, David
Peacock, Mrs ElizabethTaylor, John (Solihull)
Percival, Rt Hon Sir IanTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Pollock, AlexanderTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Porter, BarryTerlezki, Stefan
Portillo, MichaelThatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Powley, JohnThomas, Rt Hon Peter
Prentice, Rt Hon RegThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Price, Sir DavidThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Prior, Rt Hon JamesThorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Proctor, K. HarveyTownend, John (Bridlington)
Raffan, KeithTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Rathbone, TimTracey, Richard
Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)Trippier, David
Renton, TimTrotter, Neville
Rhys Williams, Sir BrandonTwinn, Dr Ian
Ridley, Rt Hon NicholasVaughan, Sir Gerard
Ridsdale, Sir JulianViggers, Peter
Rifkind, MalcolmWaddington, David
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Robinson, Mark (N'port W)Waldegrave, Hon William
Roe, Mrs MarionWalden, George
Rossi, Sir HughWalker, Bill (T'side N)
Rost, PeterWalker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Rowe, AndrewWaller, Gary
Rumbold, Mrs AngelaWalters, Dennis
Ryder, RichardWard, John
Sackville, Hon ThomasWardle, C. (Bexhill)
Sainsbury, Hon TimothyWarren, Kenneth
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.Watson, John
Sayeed, JonathanWatts, John
Scott, NicholasWells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)Wheeler, John
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')Whitfield, John
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Whitney, Raymond
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)Wiggin, Jerry
Shersby, MichaelWilkinson, John
Silvester, FredWinterton, Mrs Ann
Sims, RogerWolfson, Mark
Skeet, T. H. H.Wood, Timothy
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Woodcock, Michael
Soames, Hon NicholasYeo, Tim
Speed, KeithYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Speller, TonyYounger, Rt Hon George
Spencer, Derek
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)Teller for the Ayes:
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Mr. Robert Boscawen and
Squire, RobinMr. Carol Mather.
NOES
Abse, LeoBoothroyd, Miss Betty
Adley, RobertBoyes, Roland
Alton, DavidBrown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)
Anderson, DonaldBrown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)
Archer, Rt Hon PeterBrown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)
Ashdown, PaddyBrown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)
Ashley, Rt Hon JackBuchan, Norman
Ashton, JoeCaborn, Richard
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)Campbell, Ian
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Carter-Jones, Lewis
Barnett, GuyCartwright, John
Barron, KevinChapman, Sydney
Bell, StuartClark, Dr David (S Shields)
Benn, TonyClarke, Thomas
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Bermingham, GeraldCocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)
Bidwell, SydneyCohen, Harry
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnConlan, Bernard
Blair, AnthonyCook, Frank (Stockton North)
Corbett, RobinHattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Corbyn, JeremyHayes, J.
Cowans, HarryHaynes, Frank
Craigen, J. M.Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Cranborne, ViscountHeffer, Eric S.
Crowther, StanHogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Cunliffe, LawrenceHome Robertson, John
Cunningham, Dr JohnHughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'Ili)Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Deakins, EricHughes, Roy (Newport East)
Dewar, DonaldHughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Dicks, TerryHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Dobson, FrankJanner, Hon Greville
Dormand, JackJohn, Brynmor
Douglas, DickKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.Kennedy, Charles
Eadie, AlexKilroy-Silk, Robert
Eastham, KenKnox, David
Ewing, HarryLambie, David
Fatchett, DerekLamond, James
Faulds, AndrewLeadbitter, Ted
Favell, AnthonyLeighton, Ronald
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Fisher, MarkLitherland, Robert
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Forrester, JohnMcCartney, Hugh
Foster, DerekMcCrindle, Robert
Foulkes, GeorgeMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Fraser, J. (Norwood)McKay, Allen (Penistone)
George, BruceMcKelvey, William
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Godman, Dr NormanMcNamara, Kevin
Golding, JohnMcTaggart, Robert
Gould, BryanMcWilliam, John
Grant, Sir AnthonyMadden, Max
Griffiths, Sir EldonMarek, Dr John
Hamilton, James (M'well N)Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Hardy, PeterMartin, Michael
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterMaxton, John
Harvey, RobertMaynard, Miss Joan
Haselhurst, AlanMeacher, Michael
Meadowcroft, MichaelSedgemore, Brian
Michie, WilliamSheldon, Rt Hon R.
Mikardo, IanShore, Rt Hon Peter
Milian, Rt Hon BruceShort, Mrs R. (W'hampt'n NE)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)Skinner, Dennis
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Murphy, ChristopherSmith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Nellist, DavidSmith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Oakes, Rt Hon GordonSnape, Peter
O'Brien, WilliamSoley, Clive
Orme, Rt Hon StanleySpearing, Nigel
Owen, Rt Hon Dr DavidStewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Park, GeorgeStott, Roger
Parry, RobertStraw, Jack
Patchett, TerryThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Pavitt, LaurieThorne, Stan (Preston)
Pendry, TomTinn, James
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)Wainwright, R.
Prescott, JohnWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Pym, Rt Hon FrancisWareing, Robert
Radice, GilesWeetch, Ken
Randall, StuartWells, Bowen (Hertford)
Redmond, M.Welsh, Michael
Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)White, James
Rhodes James, RobertWilliams, Rt Hon A.
Richardson, Ms JoWilson, Gordon
Roberts, Allan (Bootle)Winnick, David
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)Woodall, Alec
Robertson, GeorgeWrigglesworth, Ian
Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)Young, David (Bolton SE)
Rooker, J. W.
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Tellers for the Noes:
Rowlands, TedMr. Don Dixon and
Ryman, JohnMr. Peter Pike.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House approves the Government's White Paper on Airports Policy, Cmnd. 9542.