§ 32. Mr. A. Royle
asked the Minister of Aviation when he expects to reach a decision on the application from British European Airways Corporation for permission to operate services at night with Comet 4B aircraft from London Airport.
§ Mr. Sandys
I have authorised British European Airways to operate a small number of night services with Comet 4B aircraft at London Airport, subject to the condition that the noise level shall not exceed that of piston-engined aircraft which are already permitted to fly at night without restriction. The noise tests which have been carried out in the last few weeks show that this is technically practicable.
§ Mr. Royle
Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in spite of the precautions he has taken, his statement will be received with concern by many people living under the glide path to London Airport? If those precautions are not successful in reducing the noise of jet aircraft to the level of that of piston-engined aircraft, would my right hon. Friend reconsider his decision, and is he considering extending this permission to other airlines?
§ Mr. Sandys
I can assure my hon. Friend that I shall keep a close check on these flights to assure myself that the 942 conditions are being observed. So far I have not received any applications from other airlines.
§ Mr. Hunter
Can the Minister please inform me of the dates when the noise tests were held, where, and also the details of the test readings?
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the only noise test in which I am interested is whether or not these Comets flying at night will wake me up? May I ask him to believe that if they do wake me up at night he will hear more about it?
§ Mr. R. Harris
Can the Minister say which runway will be used, as this will decide which inhabitants in Middlesex will be affected?
§ Mr. Rankin
If one B.E.A. Comet is causing all this trouble by taking off at London Airport, why is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to increase the number of independent operators and thereby, perhaps, increase the number of Comets?