§ Mr. Soames
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether, pursuant to the answer on 30 June, Official Report, c. 128, he is yet in a position to make a statement on whether he is prepared to relax the legislative ban on noisier United Kingdom-registered aircraft using United Kingdom airports after 1 January 1986.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Most United Kingdom airlines have already made plans to replace, or modify with hush-kits, noisier aircraft which do not meet the requirements of the 1 January 1986 ban. Some operators who have delayed making their plans have put it to me that in current economic circumstances a general relaxation of the ban is justified; or have argued that a temporary exemption for some existing aircraft would enable them to introduce replacement aircraft more conveniently or economically. However, in view of the importance that the Government have attached to the relief that this ban should bring to those living near airports, and taking account of the position of those airlines which have already taken steps to comply with the ban, I can see no case for such a general relaxation of policy. I would need to see a very strong case related to the circumstances surrounding individual aircraft before I could contemplate giving any encouragement to the Civil Aviation Authority to use its powers to grant exemptions.