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London Airport (Bad Weather Alternate)

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if he can now make a statement about the development of a bad weather alternate to London Airport.

I presume the Question refers to the proposed development of Gatwick Airport as a bad weather alternate and as a base for some other air transport activities. I hope to be able to make a statement about this in the near future.

Does the hon. Gentleman recall that six months ago he said he was going to work fast in this and other matters? Can he say how near is the "near future"?

The hon. Member knows very well some of the difficult problems connected with this matter, which is being pressed on as fast as possible.

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the important thing is to make London Airport an all-weather airport?

Will the hon. Gentleman also keep before him the claims of Prestwick as a Transatlantic air terminal?

As the hon. Member knows, so far as is possible, a good deal is being done there.

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is considerable apprehension with regard to the Gatwick proposal amongst the inhabitants of the new town of Crawley? Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that he will proceed slowly in order to avoid any unnecessary inconvenience and annoyance to people in that very important new town?

No, Sir, I could not give an assurance to proceed slowly. I will give an assurance that I will proceed with great care. My hon. Friend has brought the question of noise to my attention on several occasions.