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Airline Services

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of Manchester Airport's (a) proposed expansion and (b) proposed increase in night flights on neighbouring communities. (100973)

The last assessment of the impact of UK airport expansion was the 2003 White Paper, The Future of Air Transport. This supported growth at Manchester airport, provided it was environmentally acceptable, and identified three key issues to inform the airport's expansion plans and their consideration by the planning system:

(a) There should be the maximum reduction in noise levels, to minimise the number of people affected—including stringent limits on day and night-time noise, looking at least 10 years ahead;

(b) Growth does not jeopardise air quality standards, which should be thoroughly monitored and evaluated;

(c) The airport should work closely with local and regional partners to limit traffic growth—including better traffic management and, possibly, road user charging. Motorway improvements should be in harmony with environmental goals.