asked the Minister of Aviation when he anticipates it will be possible to resume a direct passenger air service between Southampton and Jersey.
An air service licence would be required for this service. The decision whether or not to grant such a licence to any applicant is entirely a matter for the Air Transport Licensing Board and my right hon. Friend can express no view.
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that there is a considerable demand for direct flights from Southampton to Jersey by reason particularly of the cessation of the steamer service between those two points? Will my hon. Friend co-operate in helping to remove the obstacles, including the lack of Customs facilities, which have hampered operations at Southampton Airport?
The first part of the supplementary question relates to matters which are the concern of the Air Transport Licensing Board. Customs are a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is the most convenient air route to the Channel Islands, and that its restoration would be a great boon both to Jersey and to holiday passengers to Jersey?
I have no doubt that this and all other relevant factors will be put to the Air Transport Licensing Board.