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Supersonic Airliners

Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about research and development into the next generation of supersonic airliners.

I believe that it is widely accepted that a next generation supersonic transport (SST) would involve a major international collaborative effort because of the very substantial investment which would be needed. It is for industry to decide whether a new SST could be a sound commercial, environmental and technological project—and to initiate the necessary research in collaboration with international partners.My Department has limited funds available to promote collaborative civil aeronautical research projects, and consideration could be given to their use to help United Kingdom industry take advantage of opportunities in this area. Research into the environmental implications would be of particular importance.