HC Deb 09 November 1970 vol 806 cc30-2
36. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the noise levels recorded on the occasion of the visit of the Concorde aircraft to London Airport in mid September; and how many complaints were received.

Mr. John Davies

The Concorde prototype was diverted to Heathrow on 13th September because of deteriorating weather conditions. The unusual circumstances of approach on 13th September attracted 121 complaints. On take-off a noise level of 112 PNdB was registered at the monitoring point and attracted two complaints.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that modifications which I believe are being incorporated in the aircraft will ensure that on the next occasion that it comes in to Heathrow the noise will be less?

Mr. Davies

I can assure my right hon. Friend that this version of the Concorde, which is the prototype version, is not equipped with the engines which it would have in normal service when clearly the intention would be to incorporate engines which conformed to the present requirements for aircraft operation.

Mr. Dalyell

Would the Secretary of State agree that the noise problems of Concorde have been exaggerated by American-orientated interests?

Mr. Davies

There have undoubtedly been exaggerations of the noise problem of Concorde. It is a fact that this is one of the severe problems which we have to face with this aircraft, but there has been a tendency to overplay it.

Mr. Nott

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that people living around London Airport are clearly faring rather better than people in West Cornwall, in that the latter are suffering quite serious damage to their property, their cattle, and other possessions, several times a week as a result of the supersonic overflying of Concorde?

Mr. Davies

I am, of course, very conscious of the concern which people have about the test flying of Concorde. It is, on the other hand, wise to bear in mind that this is a very great project which must be proved, and while there is inconvenience, the rewards for its success are also very great.

Mr. Rankin

What fraction of all those who heard Concorde was the number of people who complained?

Mr. Davies

I am inclined to think it was infinitesimal.