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Aviation (Junction Airport System)

Volume 319: debated on Tuesday 2 February 1937

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether his attention has been drawn to the protest made by the Birmingham Airport Committee at the exclusion of that city from the scheme proposed by the May-bury Committee; and, in view of the commitments of the Birmingham City Council in making the new Elmdon airport second to none in the country, will he reconsider Birmingham's claims to be included in any scheme of national linking up of civil aviation?

I have noted the representations of the Birmingham Airport Committee on this subject, but I presume that my hon. Friend recognises that the recommendations of the committee deal with the needs of civil aviation as a whole throughout the country. The junction airport system, which forms only part of their comprehensive proposals, is in the nature of a particular experiment to test the results of airline operation in the most favourable possible circumstances, between terminal points lying far apart from one another. The fact that Birmingham is not included in this scheme for the linking of extremities does not mean that that city's air interests are likely to be disregarded, as I think is clear from a study of the committee's report as a whole.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the airport at Birmingham was entirely unconsidered by the committee, that there is no reference to it in the report at all, and will he, before this scheme is put into operation, consider the whole position?

This junction airport scheme is only in the nature of an experiment.