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Results 181–200 of 6000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Geoff Hoon

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of adding capacity to Heathrow. I am grateful to the House and to the business managers for agreeing to this debate. I very much welcome this opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding the future development of Heathrow airport. It is of course not the first debate on this subject in the House, but it is the first time that I have...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: If I could make a little more progress, I will give way in due course. We recognised at the time that this would have implications for people around Heathrow, which is why we have made that commitment subject to meeting stringent local environmental conditions. Let me remind the House of what those conditions are. First, we must meet our European obligations with regard to local air quality....

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: In a moment. Secondly, there is a commitment not to increase the size of the area significantly affected by aircraft noise. We measure this by reference to the 57 dB noise contour, which is a measure of the average exposure to aircraft noise over a typical 16-hour day. We take as our benchmark the size of that area in 2002—the latest data available before publication of the 2003 White...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I undertook to give way in a moment. If the hon. Lady will wait, I shall set the scene and set out the principles. It is important that the House should have this opportunity. I will certainly give way when we get on to the detail. We have since undertaken a three-year programme of technical analysis to assess whether these conditions can be met for a new runway given the construction time...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: In two seconds, if the hon. Lady will be patient. That could also bring an added degree of resilience to the airport, even without increasing traffic levels, as it would provide greater flexibility in the use of the two runways and an improved ability to manage air traffic during periods of congestion or bad weather.

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: In a sense, I am sorry to have given way. I set out the position very precisely for the hon. Lady. It is set out in the White Paper: it is that the Government supported the expansion of Heathrow on the basis of capacity in the 2003 White Paper, subject to the clear environmental conditions—the local environmental conditions—that have to be met. I have just set out the answer—

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I am not going to give way to the hon. Lady if she does not indicate that she is listening to anything I have said. I have set out the position precisely.

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I will make a little more progress, then I will give way again. I hope that in the course of—

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I am going to make a little progress. I will give way in a moment. The question of capacity—this is important, and I hope that the hon. Lady pays better attention—is not a new one for Heathrow. The need for new runway capacity in the south-east has been under review in one form or another since 1990, including a runway capacity study that ran for 3 years from 1990 to 1993 and regional air...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I will give way in a second. Indeed, the need for new capacity was recognised by the Opposition when they were in government. As recently as 1995, my predecessor, the noble Lord Mawhinney, told this House that he recognised there was "a strong case for additional runway capacity in the south-east".—[ Official Report, 2 February 1995; Vol. 253, c. 859W.]

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I will give way in a second. So one might well ask what has changed since Lord Mawhinney uttered those words to the House on behalf of a Conservative Government. I will tell Members what has changed. In 1995 there were 700,000 flights—

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: In a second. There are now more than 1 million flights a year. That is what has changed—the need for new capacity has got greater. And in response, the Opposition have collapsed into incoherence on the issue. Airport capacity throughout the United Kingdom was fully explored in the run-up to the 2003 White Paper. At the time, that was the largest transport policy consultation we had ever...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: The right hon. Gentleman has an extremely distinguished record on such matters and has consistently argued his case on environmental protection. Sadly, he has rarely influenced his Front Benchers, either in government or since the Conservatives have been in opposition. [Interruption.] Conservative Front Benchers scoff, but the right hon. Gentleman has consistently and rightly argued for...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: The hon. Lady is a distinguished former Member of the European Parliament. In those days, I know that she valued European co-operation—she sought to be elected to the European Parliament. Somehow, she appears to have abandoned her commitment to Europe since then.

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I shall make a little more progress because I am deeply disappointed by the Conservative party's stance, which, I fear, is driven more by the need for short-term headlines than the country's long-term needs.

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: I came into the Chamber and heard the hon. Gentleman use the phrase "populist clap-trap" in describing the proposals made by one of his colleagues. I apologise unreservedly for applying it to a different colleague—though the effect is the same. The 2003 White Paper sought to provide a strategic framework for the development of aviation in the United Kingdom over the next 30 years. It...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: My hon. Friend is right, and I will deal with that shortly. Notwithstanding the bluster from those on the Opposition Front Bench, the Government have led the way in arguing the case for including aviation and shipping in the European emissions trading scheme, and we have succeeded in those negotiations.

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: That is the precise approach for which Stern argued in his report. He said that there was an economic cost to pollution. I assure my hon. Friend that that is built into our assessments. I want to deal with the wider context because aviation has enjoyed remarkable growth in recent decades. The increase in the number of flights and of worldwide destinations that can be reached from UK airports...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: In a second. Today, international travel is no longer the preserve of the wealthy, although it is fair to say that the better-off are taking advantage of far more flights than even they might have made in the past. However, the real point is that everyone is benefiting. The number of international flights taken by UK residents more than trebled between 1986 and 2006. That meant that in 2006,...

Bill Presented: Heathrow (11 Nov 2008)

Geoff Hoon: That is of course the case, but the reality is that there is enormous demand for flights from Heathrow that has not been satisfied in recent years. That is precisely why the right hon. Gentleman's former colleague, the noble Lord Mawhinney, made the statement to which I referred earlier. The right hon. Gentleman's Government—the Government whom he consistently supported—were looking at...


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