§ Mr. Higgins
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the maximum height at which Boeing 747 aircraft landing at Heathrow airport can approach at distances of (a) 18 and (b) 25 miles: and what minimum height is specified by the appropriate authority.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
Minimum heights at which aircraft generally may fly are specified in rules 5 and 25 of the rules of the Air and Air Traffic Control Regulations 1985 (Statutory Instrument No. 1985/1714). 1 have arranged for copies of these rules to be placed in the Library. Subject to the rules, the heights of aircraft approaching Heathrow are the responsibility of the National Air Traffic Services. NATS' air traffic controllers allocate heights taking into account safety, efficient use of airspace and aircraft performance capability. Generally, aircraft will follow a continuous descent path from cruising altitudes and could be expected to be at an altitude of approximately(a) 5,000 ft at 18 miles distance and (b) 7,000 ft at 25 miles distance.