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Aircraft Noise

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has received the final report of the NATO committee on the challenges of modern society pilot study on aircraft noise; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend has now received this report and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The report surveys a very wide range of topics related to aircraft noise, including source noise, noise measurement, community response and health effects, operational considerations and public relations. It identifies areas in which further work is needed and proposes new arrangements for co-ordinating activity and exchanging information within the alliance.Taking into account the work done by NATO, my Department has set in hand studies into the sources of noise within and around aircraft and to obtain further information on noise levels generated by aircraft operating at low level. A study has also been commissioned to review available information on any possible relationship between aircraft noise and hearing loss. To co-ordinate these and any follow-up studies and to ensure that the conclusions are taken into account in the future design and operation of aircraft, a low flying noise panel has been set up in the Ministry of Defence on which all relevant service, scientific and administrative staff are represented. My Department will also be co-operating fully in the wider co-ordination of activity and exchange of information within NATO as recommended by the CCMS report.This work underscores the commitment of the Ministry of Defence to seek ways of reducing the impact of defence activities on the environment.