Stansted Airport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 pm on 28th April 1987.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt , Bury North 11:11 pm, 28th April 1987

I do not accept the hon. Gentleman's argument. As I mentioned earlier, there is some geographically mobile air transport, but generally not very much. I do not believe that the argument that the southeast is suffering from a lack of air capacity and that therefore Stansted should not have been developed because traffic would have moved elsewhere outweighs the arguments for Stansted.

Our difficulty in the north is that at the moment many people want their businesses located in the south and need the extra air capacity of the south. Were that not so, it would please the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) and myself, but it is a fact of life and to have denied them that legitimate expansion and to have tried to hope or pretend that air traffic would have come to Manchester would be wrong.

I know that my hon. Friends are anxious to proclaim that we should tell people about the advantages of the north so that there will be a natural growth. As I was saying before the right hon. Gentleman intervened, in future, that natural growth will be stimulated by what is happening in the north of England. Thus, the fears of my hon. Friends about the expansion of Stansted and the possibility of orders coming to the south and raising air traffic movements will not be realised; the north will have grown sufficiently to counter any thought that Stansted must develop over-much. The answer to the problems of the north lies not in what is happening elsewhere but in a genuine boost to what is occurring in the north and a determination to tell people about it.

The future of Manchester airport is bright, not because of the Government or any control but because it is the right place and it will develop at the right time with the right people at the helm.