HC Deb 22 January 1973 vol 849 c3
2. Mr. Allason

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will ban night jet charter flights after 1973.

The Under Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Cranley Onslow)

No, Sir.

Mr. Allason

Will my hon. Friend recognise the extreme hardship of those who have to live beneath the flight paths and who are kept awake night after night by these night jet charter flights? Will he offset this against the quite small increase in fares which would result from a ban on night jet charter flights?

Mr. Onslow

I am well aware that this disturbance at night causes hardship to a number of people, and my hon. Friend represents their case very powerfully. But I cannot believe that the step which he advocates would he justified when he remembers that this section of the industry carries 10 million passengers a year from United Kingdom airports and that it would cause grave damage to a large number of people if a total ban were placed on one-third of their potential operating time.

Mr. Jessel

Is my hon. Friend aware that the sharp reduction in the number of night jet take-offs from Heathrow, introduced for the first time in the summer season of 1972, has been warmly welcomed by communities living around Heathrow but that many people still think there are too many night jet takeoffs? Will my hon. Friend try to enforce this virtual ban more stringently in the summer season of 1973?

Mr. Onslow

I note what my hon. Friends says. The hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) has a later Question on this point and I do not think that I should seek to anticipate my reply to it.