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Heathrow Airport (Fifth Terminal)

Volume 974: debated on Monday 19 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proposals have been made by British Airways for a fifth terminal at London Heathrow airport on the Perry Oaks site.

I am aware that British Airways favour the further expansion of Heathrow, but I have received no specific proposals for a fifth terminal.

Is my hon. Friend aware of a British Airways document that partly argues the case for a fifth terminal on the Perry Oaks site and that that should be considered as an alternative to the restrictions placed on the development of Heathrow airport by the previous Government? If he does not know of the document, will he be kind enough to familiarise himself with it and put the minds of the people of West London at rest?

As I said, I am aware that British Airways favour the further expansion of Heathrow, but there are major problems. It would not be right for me to state the Government's attitude before all the options to satisfy the demand for increased air capacity in the South-East of England have been considered.

Before the hon. Gentleman starts talking about a fifth terminal at Heathrow, will he give his attention to the question of a fourth terminal? Is he aware that the inspector's report has been lying on the Secretary of State's table since 18 May, and surely it is a disgrace that such a costly delay should occur? What is the reason?

If we are to discuss costly delays in airport policy, the hon. Gentleman might be wise to leave the Chamber in order to avoid embarrassment.

Will the Minister tell us whether a decision has been taken to build a further terminal or rebuild the terminal at Stansted? That is one alternative to the fifth terminal at London airport.

As I said earlier, all these options are being taken into account in considering solutions to the problem of increased capacity in the South-East. We do not wish to rule out any option before reaching our final conclusion.