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Regional Airports

Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he is taking to encourage the growth of regional airports.

The Government encourage the maximum use of regional airports, both to meet local demand and to relieve pressure on the London airports.Over the past decade more than £300 million of capital expenditure has been facilitated, through special borrowing approvals for the development of local authority airports. I announced on 9 January that special borrowing approvals totalling £59 million will be available for 1990–91, facilitating investment which the airports concerned estimate could total some £117 million in that year.We also very much welcome the contribution to the development of local authority airports which the private sector already makes through direct investment and joint venture schemes; and we look to the airports concerned and their local authority owners to take full account of the opportunities for private sector involvement as they formulate their plans for further expansion.We are continuing to pursue liberalisation policies, both in the European Community and in bilateral negotiations, which increase further the scope for services from our regional airports.