HL Deb 31 July 1968 vol 296 cc379-81

[No. 17]

After Clause 13 insert the following new clause:

Control of aircraft noise and supersonic flight

".—(1) In subsection (2) of section 8 of the Civil Aviation Act 1949 (which in paragraphs (a) to (q) specifies matters concerned with the regulation of air navigation for which provision may be made by an Order in Council under that section) there shall be added the following paragraphs:— (r) for prohibiting aircraft taking off or landing in the United Kingdom unless there are in force in respect of those aircraft such certificates of compliance with standards as to noise as may be specified in the Order and except upon compliance with the conditions of those certificates; (s) for regulating or prohibiting the flight of aircraft over the United Kingdom at speeds in excess of Flight Mach 1 ".

(2) No Order under section 8 of the said Act of 1949 making provision for any such matter a; is mentioned in paragraph (r) of subsection (2) of that section shall be submitted to Her Majesty in Council unless a draft thereof has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament; and so much of section 57(2) of that Act as provides that Orders in Council under the said section 8 are to be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament shall not apply to any such Order as aforesaid."


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 17. This Amendment will he welcomed by many people; it deals with aircraft noise and the control of aircraft noise in supersonic flight. The new clause will enable the scheme which was announced by the then President of the Board of Trade in 1967 to be implemented in the United Kingdom when it has been finalised. The clause also includes enabling powers to control supersonic flight, should it be required. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment (No. 17).—(Lord Beswick.)


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for ex plaining this new clause. I am sure that if there are any Members of this House who are members of the Noise Abatement Society they will be pleased to see this new clause suddenly appearing in this Bill. It is only an enabling clause, and we look forward to seeing what standards of certification are in fact brought in by the Government. In another place, the Minister said that the clause dealt only with new aircraft projects, and not even with those that were not on the drawing board: so that an aircraft project such as the European Air-bus or the Concorde would not necessarily be included in this clause. Could the noble Lord confirm that? If that is so, I think it is frankly disappointing, because a new aircraft project, as the noble Lord. Lord Beswick, knows, takes eight, ten or fifteen years to produce, and I should have thought the effect of this clause was rather nullified.

While mentioning the European Airbus project could I "sneak in" a question, to ask whether there is any news yet of what has happened at the meeting held on the Continent this week?

There is one question that I should like to ask the noble Lord with regard to the certification of noise control, thinking particularly of Heathrow. I think I am right in saying that at the present time there is a noise control at Heathrow which limits the measurement to 110 P.N.B. during the day and 102 P.N.B. during the night for aircraft operating at Heathrow. During the Committee stage of this Bill the Minister indicated that under this clause the certification standards would be reduced to 90 P.N.B. I do not know whether it is too early for the noble Lord to comment on this, but if the figure of 90 P.N.B. was in fact selected as the figure of measurement, can he say how many aircraft at present operating at Heathrow would in fact come within this lower limit, even allowing for the fact that they would not come within this clause?

Having said that, I very much welcome this clause, which I think will do much to correct the balance of interests between those living near the Airport and the operators who operate aircraft from that Airport.


My Lords, anxious as I am to answer the questions of the noble Earl, I am afraid I cannot tell him the outcome of the meeting about the European Air-bus, since that does not take place until to-morrow. Neither can I lay down any noise definitions at this stage. As I think the noble Earl knows, discussions are still taking place with the different manufacturers. We are trying to get a common standard, and I believe that we are making some progress. It was a step forward to get international agreement, but actual standards have yet to be decided. My under standing is that, so far as the Concorde is concerned, the control over supersonic flight will mean that control over the Concorde will be included in the regulations that will follow this clause.

On Question, Motion agreed to.