HC Deb 05 May 1975 vol 891 cc1003-4
10 . Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what further action he intends to take to reduce nuisance from aircraft noise.

Mr. Clinton Davis

My intention is to seek, by all practicable means, a progressive reduction in disturbance from aircraft noise, and I therefore keep noise abatement measures under continuing review.

Mr. Jessel

In view of the suffering that aircraft noise causes, will the Government step up their action to deal with it? Would it be possible to provide some form of strong financial inducement to airlines to step up the pace at which they are using quieter aircraft engines—for example, by having differential landing charges, with heavy charges for the noisiest aircraft, the proceeds being used to reduce the rates in the areas affected by noise.

Mr. Davis

The differential system to which the hon. Gentleman alludes would require the most careful consideration. This does not represent the surest way of effecting the sort of balance that we want to achieve in dealing with aircraft noise.

The hon. Gentleman says that we should step up our action. He knows very well that over the past year the Government have taken clear action to deal with this matter. At Heathrow and Gatwick we have introduced measures which will abate noise considerably. We have under active consideration the ques- tion of division of the Mole Valley route, and I hope to be able to make a decision on that within the next few days; but new, quieter aircraft are the real answer to this problem, and these are being introduced. The hon. Gentleman is well aware of the steps that we have taken.

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