§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Technology what tests are being carried out by his Department to assess the effects of sonic booms on cathedral buildings; when these tests are expected to be concluded; and if the results will be made publicly available.
§ Mr. Benn
My Department, with the co-operation of the church authorities, has been conducting an investigation into the effects of sonic bangs on cathedrals. This investigation included a special survey on twelve cathedrals involving a detailed study of each cathedral selected and taking measurements on the walls and other parts of the fabric of the vibration levels resulting from everyday conditions. This survey is planned to be the first phase of a longer term study. Any significant results that may emerge will be made publicly available.