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Airports: Noise

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the Government are tackling problems of blight in respect of those living (a) in the vicinity and (b) under the flight paths of regional airports. (141861)

The Government’s “The Future of Air Transport” White Paper invited airport operators to bring forward voluntary schemes to address generalised blight where runways are supported by the White Paper or where land is safeguarded for future development. Voluntary blight schemes have been introduced at Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. Home-owners directly and indirectly affected by airport development will also have access in due course to statutory blight provisions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many airports in the UK have implemented voluntary plans to tackle noise pollution. (141862)

There are over 140 licensed aerodromes in the United Kingdom and the information about voluntary plans to tackle noise pollution is not collected or held centrally by the Department.

In the “Future of Air Transport” White Paper, we encouraged airport operators to have voluntary schemes to mitigate the impact of aircraft noise. We have therefore introduced statutory powers to strengthen the airport operators' powers to introduce noise control schemes and fine aircraft that breach noise controls. We hope that this will encourage larger airports to establish schemes where they do not already exist. We have recommended that airport consultative committees monitor how well these new powers are being implemented by airports. We propose to consult the committees in 2008 on progress made by airport operators.

Under the environmental noise directive, all airports with over 50,000 movements per year are required to produce strategic noise maps by 30 June 2007. The completion of these maps will need to be followed by action plans aimed at managing and reducing environmental noise. These action plans are required to be completed by 18 July 2008.