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Heathrow Airport: Standards

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of standards of operation at Heathrow Airport on the attractiveness of the UK as a tourist destination. (188760)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not undertaken any specific work to measure the effect of Heathrow’s standards of operation. However, my Department and its partners are well aware of the importance of good standards of operation at ports of entry, including Heathrow.

Improving the welcome to the UK is one of my Department’s priorities for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and VisitBritain has set up the ‘Welcome to Britain’ group to take this work forward. For example, since January, the Civil Aviation Authority has included additional questions about the quality of welcome in its ‘Departing Airport Survey’, which is conducted at a number of airports, including Heathrow. Organisations which can influence the visitor’s experience at Heathrow, including the British Airports Authority (BAA) and the Home Office, are members of this group. I have also raised welcome issues with representatives of BAA at a meeting in January.