HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c812
6. Mr. Robert Key (Salisbury) (Con)

What plans he has to reduce noise pollution from light recreational aircraft. [173498]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty)

Light aircraft have to comply with an internationally agreed noise certification standard unless they were on the UK register before 1980. This standard was tightened for aircraft certificated after 1999. There are currently no plans for additional measures to reduce noise from light aircraft, although we expect aerodromes to set, and to enforce, appropriate rules to minimise noise nuisance.

Mr. Key

Does the Minister understand how sorry we feel for him, given this can of worms with which he must deal? My constituents are pleased to put up with the noise of fast jets and military helicopters five days a week, but for two days a week and particularly during the summer weather, their quality of life is diminished by light recreational aircraft. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country will have their quality of life diminished by the pilots of some 8,000 light aircraft and, of course, of those "lawnmowers" that take to the skies, and which take so long to get across them. As part of his big conversation, will he please start a debate on the balance between the right of pilots of light recreational aircraft to fly in our skies, and the right of the vast majority of our citizens to have peace and quiet?

Mr. McNulty

I am sympathetic to the points that the hon. Gentleman makes. In addition to the certification standard and the general noise standard, there are considerations in terms of the planning framework and the other frameworks that need to be taken into account. However, I shall look into the matter further and get back to the hon. Gentleman.

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