asked the Minister for Trade (1) if he is considering allowing the British Airports Authority to enter into leasing arrangements with private sector contractors to assist in financing the authority's investment programme;(2) if he will make a statement on the possibility of introducing private funding into the British Airports Authority.
[pursuant to his reply, 20 May 1982, c. 150]: In January I invited the British Airports Authority to consider ways in which the private sector might be closely involved with the development of the authority's airports. In particular, I invited suggestions as to how private sector funds might be introduced. I have now received from Mr. Norman Payne, chairman of the BAA, initial suggestions as to how, under certain conditions, this might be achieved. I regard this as a most important initiative. I am very grateful to the BAA for the speedy and practical way in which it has responded. My Department is now urgently considering these suggestions.