HC Deb 07 August 1972 vol 842 cc1240-1
17. Mr. Walter Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans the Government now have for giving financial assistance to the aircraft industry to enable it further to develop a quiet jet aircraft engine.

Mr. Onslow

The House is already familiar with the support which is at present being given to the RB211 engine. In addition we are negotiating with the industry with a view to giving some support to a programme, based on this engine, aimed at demonstrating some further noise reduction techniques.

Mr. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that, as he himself has indicated, great strides have already been made in this direction with the RB211 engine? Surely we owe it to the people who live near airports to make funds available to the aircraft industry for the further development of quieter engines.

Mr. Onslow

I agree that this is a most important matter. The hon. Gentleman may like to know that initial work on the RB211 is aimed at a reduction of 5 EPNdB over the present noise level, which should halve the number of people around airports adversely affected by noise from this aircraft.

Mr. Jessel

Is my hon. Friend aware that positive discrimination in favour of the manufacturers of quieter engines will be welcomed in many parts of the House?

Mr. Onslow

The most important thing to do is to encourage operators to buy quiet aircraft.

Mr. Mason

Since it is recognised that the development of the RB211 and the TriStar are paving the way to quieter aircraft, can the Minister say what technical progress is now being made towards the development of a quieter engine for the aircraft which will be continually in use after the present generation of aircraft, namely, the Concorde?

Mr. Onslow

The right hon. Gentleman knows that the Government are devoting great effort to reducing the noise of the prototype engines fitted in Concorde. As he has more than once been told, it is the forecast that Concorde when in service will compare with existing noise levels in long-range jets.