asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the latest estimate available to him for the cost of the Falklands operations to be met by his Department for 1985–86 and 1986–87, respectively.
Our latest estimate of costs is in line with the provision of £552 million and £450 million respectively, which was announced in "The Government's Expenditure Plans for 1985–86 to 1987–88"—(Cmnd. 9428).
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how long the Falklands airport took to build; at what cost to his Department's budget; what will be its principal military functions; and if he will make a statement.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement concerning the most recent increase in the cost to his Department of Mount Pleasant airfield.
Construction of the Mount Pleasant airport and associated facilities began on 31 December 1983, six months after the instruction to proceed was given to the contractors. The main runway has now been completed and we will start to make limited use of it in May. The remaining airport facilities will be ready for use by about February 1986. The further construction work at Mount Pleasant, which consists largely of facilities for the Army, should be complete in early 1987.I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment that the latest cost for the airport is £276 million and that for the facilities for the Army at Mount Pleasant is £119 million.The principal military functions of the airport will be to provide a base from which air defence and reconnaissance aircraft can operate as well as wide-bodied transport aircraft required for the rotation of the garrison, and, in emergency, for rapid reinforcement.