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Aircraft Noise

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what he defines as a quiet aircraft; and if he will issue up-to-date noise footprints for these aircraft.

Aircraft on the United Kingdom register which do not meet the basic noise standards of chapter 2 to annex 16 to the convention on international civil aviation have been banned from operating in this country since 1 January 1986. Such aircraft on foreign registers will he banned from 1 January 1988.The Department does not define quiet aircraft as such. For the purposes of night restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, the Department define a category of "quieter" aircraft: those with a 95 PNdB noise footprint not exceeding four square miles on take-off and 2½ square miles on landing. To be allowed to operate planned movements at night at these airports, an aircraft must be classed as "quieter". All non-jet aircraft with one or two engines are exempt from the night restrictions; all those with more than two engines meet the criteria. We are considering including 95 PNdB footprint diagrams of representative aircraft types in a future consultation document on night restrictions.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will extend aircraft noise control limits to include non-jet aircraft and noise from aircraft landing

No. Most noise near airports is made by jet aircraft taking off. Noise limits will continue to be applied to such aircraft at Heathrow and Gatwick. In addition, we will continue to encourage pilots to use operational procedures to reduce noise on both landing and take-off.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the effect to which the noise climate at Gatwick has changed as expressed by the noise contours for 1986 and 1985; what information he has as to the reasons for this; and if there has been any improvement between 1985 and 1986.

The area within the 35 noise and number index contour, which is generally taken to indicate the onset of disturbance, was 225 sq km in 1984, 299 sq km in 1985 and 288 sq km in 1986. The factors affecting the area are: extra aircraft movements, increasing use of the BACI-11, and the shape of the noise contours themselves. It is unlikely that any particular place will have experienced an increase of more than 2 or 3 NNI.