Skip to main content

Aircraft Noise

Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Aviation if he will propose an international agreement on the limitation of noise around airports and under the flight paths of aircraft.

Her Majesty's Government are taking an active part in the work of the international bodies now studying this question. The International Standards Organisation and the Organisation for European Co-operation and Development are engaged on fundamental research into the problem, and other aspects are regularly considered by the Western European Airport Authorities' Conference. This work will provide, I hope, a basis for an international convention in which Her Majesty's Government will participate through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, but it will take some time.

Whilst expressing appreciation of that answer and the information in it, may I ask whether the very serious nervous effects, particularly upon old people in residential areas near to airports, are not likely now to be increased by the permission which is to be given to jets to journey by night? Is it not very desirable that there should be the utmost pressure to secure not only international co-operation in research but the laying down of international minima for noise that is allowed to these aircraft?

Yes, Sir. We agree entirely that this noise is a nuisance. As I said in the recent debate, we are doing everything we can to mitigate and contain noise. We are working towards an international convention on this subject, but, as London Airport is one of the most difficult airports in the world at which to control this matter, it will take some time to arrive at a satistfactory agreement with all the other countries concerned.

Will the hon. Gentleman not lose sight of the question of noise from small light aircraft as well? Such an aircraft low down may cause more noise than a big, heavy aircraft high up. This is an important aspect which is often lost sight of.

We shall certainly not lose sight of that, but the main matter of concern at the moment is jet aircraft taking off and landing.