§ Sir P. Bryan
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) whether he will authorise resumption of work on the HS146 aircraft, in view of the fact that the aircraft is of such a size that the 292W cost of going it alone as a national project is within Great Britain's capacity and would enable Great Britain to retain a foothold in the world civil airliner market;
(2) whether he will authorise resumption of work on the HS146 aircraft, in view of the fact that the market for an aircraft of this type remains despite the oil crisis and the financial troubles of major route airlines.
§ Mr. Les Huckfield
My right hon. Friend is urgently considering HSA's proposals for further limited Government expenditure on the HS146. These proposals stop well short of a full relaunch of the aircraft which Hawker Siddeley Aviation itself says would not be fully justified at present. Detailed market assessment studies are continuing in order to permit a decision on whether or not to relaunch the plane as a fully fledged commercial project at the earliest practicable time. In the meantime, work on the project continues at Hatfield under the terms of the Government's holding contract.
Whilst the HS146 project is one which we could undertake alone, this is only one of the options open to us. We aim to obtain our share of future civil aviation orders in this category.