HC Deb 18 June 1969 vol 785 cc481-3
28. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will institute discussions with the controllers of municipal and private airports on the question of aircraft noise, in order that they may have the best available technological advice in preventing undue nuisance to the public living within the radius of such airports.

Mr. William Rodgers

As I said in reply to the hon. Member's question on 19th March, the Board of Trade is always prepared to give advice to aerodrome owners on ways to reduce aircraft noise disturbance. This advice takes account of the relevant technological factors.—[Vol 780, c. 104–5.]

Mr. Smith

Is the Minister aware that, with the trend towards greater use of municipal airports for private flying and training flying, the nuisance is increased to residents unfortunate enough to live in the area? Will he therefore do something more positive to help these people?

Mr. Rodgers

The arrangements which we have made for consultation at municipal airports are a good way in which local opinion can make its views known. At that stage a balance may be struck between what are sometimes competing interests.

30. Mr. Boston

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the progress being made with the social survey being carried out into the effects upon people of aircraft noise.

Mr. William Rodgers

We hope that the computer programmes needed for the analysis of this major sociological study will soon be ready.

Mr. Boston

Does my hon. Friend agree that serious doubts have arisen about the conclusions of the Wilson Committee on the noise and number index; and that people may be more widely affected than was previously thought? Does he agree that any conclusions on this arising as a result of the new survey need to be taken into account before a decision on the third London airport is reached?

Mr. Rodgers

This sociological study is in advance of anything which has been undertaken anywhere else in the world. We think that its results will be important. We shall seek to give priority to those of greatest interest to the Roskill Commission.

Mr. McMaster

Will the Minister say in this context the range within which houses can be situated to an airfield used by vertical take-off airliners, and whether it is possible for such an airliner carrying 100 or more passengers to take off from the centre of a city?

Mr. Rodgers

In all our discussions on noise we must certainly bear in mind the prospects of vertical take-off aircraft coming into operation in, say, ten years' time.

Mr. Corfield

Will the Minister bear in mind the importance of giving the House any information on this subject as soon as it is available?

Mr. Rodgers

Yes, we will tell the House all we can about the results of the studies.