Stansted Airport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:18 pm on 28th April 1987.

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Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire 11:18 pm, 28th April 1987

The hon. Gentleman is making a valid point when he speaks about the extent of consultation. It should stretch somewhat more widely and that is a fact that I have taken on board.

The hon. Gentleman also asked about not including other movements than passengers; this point was made rather more extensively by my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst). I will reply to that point when I deal with his speech.

The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) asked whether one of our domestic airlines would be based at Stansted, and whether this was desirable. I understand that Air UK is developing there, and I hope that it will be successful in doing so. He also asked me what percentage of air traffic movements were domestic flights. The figure is approximately 10 per cent. The Government showed their belief in regional aviation when they decided to reject the CAA advice last year to displace some domestic regional flights from Heathrow, including the Inverness route. In calculating the limit, we took account of the growth of domestic regional services and we found the limit of 78,000 insensitive to especially rapid growth in such services. I hope that I have reassured the hon. Gentleman.

The right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) made a number of interjections, and I thought, if he will forgive me for saying so, that he was being slightly mischievous in suggesting that there was a plan to put in a 25 million passenger movement per annum limitation before long. The fact is that there is a 15 million passengers per annum limitation and we should recognise that.