Brabazon I Aircraft
asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if he has considered the request from the British European Airways for the use of the Brabazon I for service between this country and France during the tourist season; and what was his reply.
This request is still under discussion with the Ministry of Supply and British European Airways, but it is apparent from a preliminary investigation that the cost and technical difficulties of converting this aircraft to passenger use are considerable, and that its early introduction to commercial service is impracticable.
Is the hon. Member aware that it is possible to convert this plane to carry 180 passengers a day from here to France, and would not the revenue help to recoup the money spent both on the plane and the runway?
As I have informed the hon. Member, the matter is now under discussion on an inter-Departmental basis between the Ministry of Supply and British European Airways. These discussions will be concluded as soon as possible.
International Site, County Durham
asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if he is in a position to make a statement as to the future possibility of an international airport being established at Boldon, County Durham.
No, Sir, but the site is being safeguarded against surface development which might prejudice its use as an international airport at some future time.
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether he or his noble Friend will keep in mind the industrial and economic importance of the North-East, and the absence of such facilities as are asked for in the Question? Furthermore, can we hope for better treatment from the remote control in the House of Lords than we have had from the Postmaster-General on other matters?
With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, which is the only relevant part, all these matters are considered.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is, so far as I am aware—I am open to correction—the only point in the country where there is no provision for air travel, and could not that matter be corrected?
The right hon. Gentleman is misinformed. Tyneside is served by Woolsington Aerodrome and Tees-side by West Hartlepool Aerodrome, which are both in that area.
Is not it also a fact that neither of these two airports is capable of the development required for a civil airport for the future?
As the hon. Member was the Parliamentary Secretary in this Department during the previous Administration, he will be able to explain his lack of action in the matter.