HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 c461
41. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will discontinue low-level flying over Stockton-on-Tees, particularly at night time.

Mr. Neave

Aircraft landing at R.A.F. Middleton St. George must normally pass over Stockton at a height of 1,000 to 1,500 feet. I greatly regret the disturbance which this causes, but I cannot agree to stop the flying, which is a necessary part of operational training.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is it not possible to restrict the night flying, during which these planes fly at a very low level, between one and two o'clock in the morning, when they cause considerable annoyance to my hard-working constituents? As Middleton St. George is surrounded more or less by open country, why must these aircraft pass over Stockton to approach it? There is plenty of open space over which they could fly.

Mr. Neave

Some night flying is a necessary part of the operational training programme. I will look into this matter to see whether any relaxation is possible, but we are well aware of the noise problem and pilots are briefed to avoid creating disturbance over local towns as much as possible.

Mr. Slater

My hon. Friend was not correct in stating that Middleton St. George is an open area. It happens to be in my constituency. I want the same accommodation granted to the people of Middleton St. George as my hon. Friend asks for Stockton.