§ Mr. David Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to review the standards for assessing aircraft noise nuisance and in particular for extending the noise preferential routes beyond their present altitude limits of 4,000 ft from Heathrow and 3,000 ft from Gatwick;
(2) whether he will review the definitions of aircraft noise intrusion so at to take account of severe and continuous noise intrusion from aircraft movements above 4,000 ft.
§ Mr. Ridley
I can assure my right hon. Friend that the assessment of aircraft noise nuisance is kept under review. With the progressive introduction of quieter types, levels of noise disturbance created by aeroplanes have been and will continue to be reduced. Although I accept that there are differing views about the altitudes at which aircraft noise ceases to be regarded as unduly intrusive, I have no plans to extend the noise preferential routes at Heathrow or Gatwick beyond their present limits.