HC Deb 09 February 1993 vol 218 c580W
Mr. Kenneth Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table showing the total number of night flights permitted at Heathrow and Gatwick in the past winter and summer; and what number would be permitted in 1993–94 under the proposals in the recent consultation paper(a) on the assumption that airlines use the same mix of aircraft as in the past year and (b) on the assumption that airlines choose to use quieter aircraft one quota lower than in the past year and assuming also that in the unlimited zero-rated category there are an additional 25 landings plus 25 take-offs per night; and if he will indicate in each case whether the average volume of noise per year will be greater or less than in the past year.

Mr. Norris

The Department does not specify the total number of aircraft that may operate at night at Heathrow and Gatwick. Under the present night restrictions, the noisiest aircraft are not allowed to operate at night except for a small number of delayed departures. The less noisy aircraft may operate subject to quotas, but some aircraft are exempt. At Gatwick, the quotas were 2,250 movements for winter 1991–92 and 5,190 for summer 1992. At Heathrow, the quotas were 3,000 for winter 1991–92 and 2,750 for summer 1992.

The new quota levels proposed for the next five years in the consultation paper are designed to keep the overall noise levels below those in 1988. If the proposed new quotas were used by aircraft counting 1 or more under the new system, in the same mix as flew in summer 1992, the proposed summer quota of 9,000 for Gatwick would translate into 4,900 movements and 7,000 for Heathrow would translate into 2,550 movements. In addition to aircraft currently exempt, there would have been about 1,200 movements at Gatwick during the summer season by zero-rated aircraft—about six a night—and about 400 at Heathrow—about two a night. Even though the mix of aircraft using the new quotas may change, overall noise levels should not get worse.

Forward to