HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc785-6
24. Mr. A. Royle

asked the Minister of Aviation what action is being taken to reduce noise from aircraft over residential areas approaching London Airport.

The Minister of Aviation (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

In order to keep aircraft at a reasonable height above built-up areas, and thereby reduce noise, they are directed to descend at a prescribed minimum angle.

Mr. Royle

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his Answer, may I ask whether he is aware, as I am informed, that there are no regular checks of height of aircraft flying over by constituency, which includes Richmond and Barnes? As many of those aircraft fly below the official height of from 1,500 to 2,000 ft., will the Minister institute regular height checks for aircraft flying within ten miles of London Airport?

Mr. Sandys

I will look into that suggestion.

Mr. Hunter

First of all, I should like to thank the Minister for visiting London Airport to make a personal study of the noise, a visit which, I am sure, will be appreciated by residents in that area. Is he aware that residents around London Airport complain that noise has increased considerably since October? Will he please take up that matter as well?

Mr. Sandys

Yes, I must be quite frank with the House. I have for a long time taken a great interest in this question of noise, ever since I was at the Ministry of Supply some years ago. But there is no good pretending that we can altogether eliminate the noise of aircraft any more than we can eliminate the noise of road traffic. What we have got to do is to do everything possible to keep the intensity of the noise within tolerable limits and also reduce as much as possible the size of the area which is affected.