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Clause 18 - Licence conditions

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:15 pm on 1st March 2012.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Shadow Minister (Transport) 1:15 pm, 1st March 2012

My hon. Friend makes an important point that we have covered in Committee over the past few sessions. The issue is about encouraging people to visit the UK, encouraging connectivity and inward investment. The first point of contact for the many important people we invite to the UK is our airport and the last thing we want is to create a negative view on the journey from there to their destination—mainly London, but also other important regional centres.

We all remember the millennium celebrations, when representatives of Fleet street were stranded at Stratford station for four hours, and the impression that created of the Greenwich peninsula and the dome—or the O2,as it is now called. First impressions, as we know, are  very difficult to overcome, and hard work is needed to build a positive image. I take my hon. Friend’s point about the first contact for people stepping off the plane. What does the airport look like? What are the attitudes of the staff like? How long will it take to get transport to the relevant destination? That is an important element.