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Aircraft Noise

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 6 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to reintroduce noise insulation grants for defined areas around certain airports on a generous basis, and extended to schools and hospitals.

We are assessing BAA's most recent noise insulation grants schemes at Heathrow and Gatwick. We have no plans to require BAA to introduce new schemes at these airports. It is proposed that a noise insulation grants scheme should be introduced at Stansted in due course, on the lines of the recent Heathrow and Gatwick schemes.We are also considering whether criteria can be developed for making noise insulation grants for those parts of schools and hospitals where the work is particularly sensitive to aircraft noise.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if, in view of the fact that aircraft noise limits were set some 25 years ago, he will initiate an update of such limits;(2) if he will introduce penalties for airlines persistently deviating from noise preferential routes without sound reason;(3) what steps he is taking to require airport operators to monitor the track-keeping of aircraft both to and from the airport in accordance with section 68 of the Airports Act 1986.

BAA plc is considering, together with the Civil Aviation Authority and officials of my Department, the introduction of an integrated noise and track-keeping monitoring system for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. When we know the capability of the equipment we shall consider the criteria against which it should be operated, including track-keeping tolerances and revised noise limits.In general, pilots carefully follow the flight instructions which implement noise preferential routes. Moreover, a sanction for failure to comply with the noise preferential route requirements at a designated aerodrome is provided for in section 78(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, which empowers the Secretary of State to direct an aerodrome manager to secure that the aerodrome's facilities are withheld to the extent specified from the offending aircraft operator. We shall consider whether this, or some alternative sanction, would be appropriate when the new route monitoring system is in operation.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many public complaints have been received about night flying at Heathrow and Gatwick for each year since and including 1984.

The numbers were as follows:


The increase in complaints may reflect the publicity given to night noise by the Department when it initiated a review of night restrictions policy at the airports. The review is still in progress.