Aircraft Noise

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade – in the House of Commons am 12:00 am ar 27 Hydref 1980.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham 12:00, 27 Hydref 1980

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action he is now taking to reduce aircraft noise.

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

We are continuing to encourage the development and introduction into commercial service of quieter aircraft and to ensure that aircraft landing or taking-off at airports designated under section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act 1971 are operated in such a way as to minimise disturbance.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

As last month's report on the effect of aircraft noise on sleep shows that night disturbance to sleep does occur, and as the report also shows that over half the people living around Heathrow go to bed between 10.30 pm and 11.30 pm, will my hon. Friend look into the possibility of bringing forward the beginning of night noise restraint by one hour. from 11.30 pm to 10.30 pm?

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

As my hon. Friend knows, there are strict quotas on night flights at Heathrow and Gatwick and the noisier flights are being phased out. I think the House would wish to acknowledge that my hon. Friend, who has been raising this matter since 1970, has played a considerable part in achieving the restrictions. Without his efforts, there would probably have been rather more noise incidence.

Recent research into the relationship between aircraft noise and sleep disturbance indicates that our policy has been broadly right. My hon. Friend the Minister responsible for aviation will wish to consider comments, including the suggestion that my hon. Friend has put forward, on the research report before deciding on any changes.

Photo of Mr Clinton Davis Mr Clinton Davis , Hackney Central

Will the Minister indicate the Government's view of the effect of the current recession in aviation on the ability of airlines, and particularly British Airways, to acquire in sufficient numbers the aircraft that will meet the new noise certification levels in 1986?

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

The hon. Gentleman raises an important point, but it is a long-term consideration. One would hope and expect that the trading position of the companies concerned would improve considerably before the date he mentions.

Photo of Sir Ronald Bell Sir Ronald Bell , Beaconsfield

Is my hon. Friend aware that those living around Heathrow have been looking forward to a diminution of aircraft movement at night and not a substitution involving more movements by less noisy aircraft? Will he bear this factor in mind in relation to the peak period charges that are now being levied and consider whether that might have the effect of shifting movements sideways into non-peak areas?

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

I take the last point that my hon. and learned Friend raises. He is firmly supporting the plea made by my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel). I am sure that my hon. Friend who is responsible for these matters will take full account of those points.