HC Deb 23 July 1973 vol 860 cc1150-1
26. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is aware that Heathrow noise limitations are being exceeded by aircraft when landing; and if he will now introduce regular measurement of landing noise.

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

No, Sir. For reasons explained in the reply given to the hon. Member on 20th October last, it would not be practical or safe to require landing aircraft to comply with maximum noise levels. Regular measurement of noise on landing would not therefore serve a useful purpose.—[Vol. 843, c. 157–81]

Mr. Jenkins

Is it entirely untrue that the reason why the Government do not wish to introduce regular measurement of landing noise is that landing aircraft regularly break the noise limitation whereas aircraft taking off do not? More than 50 per cent. of landing aircraft break the noise limitation. Would the Minister agree that the reason why he will not introduce measurement of landing noise is that it would reveal this fact?

Mr. Onslow

The hon. Gentleman is wrong as usual. [HON. MEMBERS: "Measure it."] I understand the hon. Member's anxiety that we should take any reasonable steps to mitigate aircraft noise, but what he says in this case goes too far. The reason is that aircraft approaching to land must, for safety reasons, keep to the glide slope and the pilot must be free to use the engine power accordingly without regard to whether more or less noise is made. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that he puts noise abatement before safety, he is wrong again.

Mr. Jenkins

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment.