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Aerodrome, Doncaster

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether, as a result of the acquisition by the State of Doncaster airport, he now proposes to construct the necessary runways and other essential works; when he anticipates the plans will be ready or the work of reconstruction will commence; who will use the airport in the meantime; and what facilities will be given to commercial operators or charter companies to develop, in the near future, regular airline services.

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement I made in regard to aerodromes in the United Kingdom on 9th July, in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Beswick), but I may add with regard to Doncaster that preliminary plans for its development, which is a heavy constructional undertaking, have been prepared, though for the reasons given in my earlier statement I am unable to forecast the date of implementation. Meanwhile, the aerodrome is already being used by one aircraft repair and maintenance firm, and will be available within the limits of its capacity and accommodation to other commercial, charter and private flying interests to engage in their legitimate actiivties. A civil operated reserve school will resume flying activities there in the autumn.

Is not the Minister aware that we in the West Riding of Yorkshire, particularly in the City of Sheffield and other towns around Doncaster, attach considerable importance to the development of this airport? Will my hon. Friend give it the same consideration as he gives to Prestwick in Scotland, because the West Riding produces a considerable amount of wealth for Britain, certainly in the export field?

The development of this aerodrome will cost a considerable amount of money and will require a lot of labour and materials, and its development must, in relation to these factors, be in accordance with the national programme.