HC Deb 01 February 1967 vol 740 cc493-5
28. Mr. Boston

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the discussions he had with local authorities on 12th December, 1966, about aircraft noise.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

As the Press statement issued after the meeting made clear, assurances were given that supersonic and other new jet aircraft would have to comply with the present noise limits; that noise and height monitoring would continue; and that no increase in night jet ojerations would be permitted at Heathrow this summer.

Mr. Boston

I thank my hon. Friend for that assurance, but does not he agree that his predecessor's warning at that meeting, that people living near London Airport could expect more noise in the next few years, makes the sort of project that we were talking about just now —a coastal airport—all the more necessary?

Mr. Mallalieu

It certainly means that steps should be taken as urgently as we can take them to limit the noise of all new aircraft we produce.

Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe

Does the Minister agree that we all recognise the difficult nature of this problem but that, none the less, there are times when the noise of aircraft is well-nigh intolerable, and that this will get worse and not better? Does not the Minister agree that he cannot just leave the matter as it is now?

Mr. Mallalieu

I assure the hon. Member that I have no intention of leaving the matter where it is now. The noise in certain areas is becoming almost intolerable. We shall take what steps we can to ensure that in the future it is less rather than more.

29. Mr. Channon

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now make a statement about the Government's proposals to deal with aircraft noise.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

During the aviation debate on 21st November, my right hon. Friend informed the House of the main measures which are already in force, and under consideration, particularly in respect of the heavy traffic at Heathrow. I hope to make a further statement in the near future about the proposal that noise should be included as a factor in the certification of aircraft.

Mr. Channon

Since the Minister has already told us, in answer to an earlier Question, that the International Conference on Aircraft Noise was an extremely important one, will he give a clear undertaking that the discussions that took place at that conference, together with its conclusions, will be available to hon. Members in the near future?

Mr. Mallalieu

Yes, I think that I can give that assurance.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Does my hon. Friend agree that at the moment noise is measured only on take-off? Would it not be a good idea to start measuring the noise under the glide path, on landing?

Mr. Mallalieu

We are doing monitoring tests under glide paths.

Mr. R. Carr

In relation to the proposed policy to make noise levels part of the certification process, can the hon. Member assure the House that this will be taken up vigorously at an international level? Does he realise that although it would be welcome in this country, if we were to do it unilaterally it could have a disastrous effect on the aircraft industry?

Mr. Mallalieu

Yes, I entirely agree.