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Airports

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he received the report of the RUCATSE working group into south-east runway capacity; and if he will make a statement.

I have now received the report. It is a thorough and useful piece of work which will help set the framework for an informed debate on this important subject. The report deals with the issue of the possible need for more runway capacity in the south-east; the timing of that need; and sets out the advantages and disadvantages of development at a number of sites. It makes no recommendations about which site should be developed.A feature of the working group was its particularly wide-ranging membership. Local area representatives, environmental groups and the air transport industry have all been associated with the analysis set out in the report. I am sure that this diversity will make the report all the more useful. I therefore want to thank all those involved for the time and energy they have devoted to the work.I am today putting a copy of the report in the Library of the house and will send copies to members with constituencies near those sites subject to detailed assessment.Given the importance of this subject, I will attach particular weight to the consultation process which begins today. I invite all those with an interest in the subject to let my Department know their views on the issues raised in this report by the end of May 1994.