HC Deb 15 March 1967 vol 743 cc500-1

49. Mr. Hugh Jenkins asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that landings on the main 28L runway at London Airport, Heathrow, the glidepath to which begins over the constituency of the hon. Member for Wandsworth. Putney, totalled 5,046 in January, 1967, compared with 1,146 in January, 1966, and that this is an increase of 340 per cent.; and if he will now take steps to reduce or remove this nuisance.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The increase occurred partly because the number of westerly landings in January, 1966, was only 40 per cent. of the total landings at Heathrow compared with 83 per cent. in January, 1967—this was mainly due to wind conditions—and partly because the proportion of landings on 28R in January, 1966, was very much higher than usual because the ILS on 28L was out of action. The figures quoted by the hon. Member do not, therefore, indicate a trend towards making a greater relative use of runway 28L.

Mr. Jenkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that, although these figures show this up at its most extreme, intentionally so, the frequency is increasing very rapidly indeed, and that frequency is a very important factor in the matter of public tolerance to noise? Will he further take note that in a previous supplementary question I mentioned the Aircraft Noise Bill on 28th April? The correct date should be 14th April.

Mr. Mallalieu

A system of parallel landings is being introduced at Heathrow. This, I hope, will equalise the use of these two runways.

Mr. A. Royle

Is the Minister aware that there is great public concern at the Government's tardiness in bringing in new regulations in order to ease the amount of noise caused by aircraft coming in to land at London Airport? What is the result of his inquiry into new operating procedures which I have suggested to him in several letters over the last month?

Mr. Mallalieu

We are doing a certain amount about the limitation of night flights, for example, at Heathrow. We are still studying the proposals to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Royle

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.