HC Deb 30 October 1957 vol 575 c183
1. Mr. Mikardo

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he has taken to eliminate the nuisance caused to the residents of Reading by low-flying aircraft from Greenham Common.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

I have explained to the hon. Member in correspondence why aircraft coming in to land at Greenham Common may have to approach the airfield from the general direction of Reading. A detailed investigation which we have since held does not suggest that aircraft using this airfield cause substantial disturbance to Reading, which is some fourteen miles away.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the results of his investigation are in conflict with any amount of testimony that he can get from the people of Reading themselves? Is it not silly to site an airfield in the middle of a densely populated area with the main runway pointing straight across a large borough? Does he know that every time there is a complaint there is a slight improvement for a short time—which shows that it can be improved—and will he now effect a permanent improvement?

Mr. Ward

I have been into this very carefully, because I do appreciate that there is a noise problem; but I am satisfied that the United States authorities really are doing all they can to minimise the nuisance.