§ Mr. Higgins
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to what aircraft flew over London prior to landing at Heathrow between 5.20 am and 5.40 am on Thursday 24 July; what is the minimum height above ground, as opposed to sea, level at which aircraft are allowed to fly when passing over, or south of, central London; if he will make it his policy to restrict night flights into London airports; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
During the period mentioned three aeroplanes flew over central London before landing at Heathrow; a Lufthansa Boeing 737 and two British Airways Boeing 747s. All aeroplanes overflying built-up areas normally have to be at a minimum height of 1,500 feet above ground level.
Night flights into and out of the London airports have been restricted for many years. Restrictions have existed in their present form since 1978. They were last reviewed in 1981 and are now under review again.