§ Mr. Jessel
asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he expects to announce a decision on the Mole Valley aircraft route.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis
Following the publication of my Department's report "Mole Valley aircraft departure routes: an assessment of the alternatives," in October 1977, a large number of representations were received from hon. Members, local authorities, amenity groups and members of the public in the areas affected. I held a meeting on 5th December 1977 at which those who wished could 397W offer any further views. I have also had the benefit of advice from the Noise Advisory Council, which met specially to consider this difficult question, earlier this month.
In the light of all the views that have been expressed, I have decided to confirm the present split route which has been in operation since 1975.
I realise that this decision will not be welcome to the communities directly affected by the present routes, but I have noted the advice from the Noise Advisory Council that further changes should be avoided. Moreover, I can foresee no overall environmental benefit in any of the alternative routeing arrangements that have been suggested.
In confirming the present arrangements to the Civil Aviation Authority I shall draw attention to the need to correct, so far as is possible, the present tendency for aircraft departing on the easterly Detling route to overfly areas to the south of the nominal route. Removing this bias will, I believe, help to relieve certain areas to the south east of the airport which are at present overflown by aircraft on both Detling and Mole Valley routes.