HC Deb 05 April 1971 vol 815 cc4-5
6. Mr. Allason

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what factors he considered before granting approval for an engine run-up testing area at Luton Airport.

Mr. Noble

The Department's rôle was limited to sponsoring loan sanction for the project. This was based upon a technical appraisal of the proposals and consideration of the necessity of the ground run-up area for the running of the airport.

Mr. Allason

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this area requires the provision of a taxiway which almost exactly coincides with the taxiway which is required to double the capacity of Luton Airport? What consultations has the Minister had on noise, as this site happens to be the worst from that point of view to the neighbourhood?

Mr. Noble

On the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I am aware of this point because he has rightly brought it to my notice; but this has and will have no result on any final planning permission which might be given.

The information which I have is that it is likely to cause rather less noise to the most densely populated part of Luton which is affected.

Mr. Simeons

As one of those who live at the end of the runway, may I assure my right hon. Friend that I agree with what he says? May I nevertheless ask him to bear in mind the fact that the noise of revving-up of aircraft at 11 o'clock at night is far worse than the noise of aircraft taking off? It is that which needs restricting as well as the sound of aircraft taking off.

Mr. Noble

If my hon. Friend has not already done so, I hope that he will bring that point to the attention of the Luton authorities. I agree that what he says may well be so, and those authorities are the people who can stop it.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that, far from the level of noise being reduced, because of the increasing delays occasioned by the air traffic control system the noise will increase?

Mr. Noble

I am not certain that I fully understand the point of the hon Member's question. Is he referring simply to Luton, or to airports as a whole?

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