Third Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.


Wednesday 9 December 1987



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The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: Sir Michael Shaw

Adley, Mr. Robert, (Christchurch)

Bendall, Mr. Vivian (Ilford North)

Bevan, Mr. David Gilroy (Birmingham, Yardley)

Boateng, Mr. Paul (Brent, South)

Bottomley, Peter (Minister for Roads and Traffic)

Canavan, Mr. Dennis (Falkirk, West)

Carlisle, Mr. Kenneth (Lincoln)

Chapman, Mr. Sydney (Chipping Barnet)

Colvin, Mr. Michael (Romsey and Waterside)

Cunliffe, Mr. Lawrence (Leigh)

Dickens, Mr. Geoffrey (Littleborough and Saddleworth)

Dicks, Mr. Terry (Hayes and Harlington)

Dunnachie, Mr. Jimmy (Glasgow, Pollok)

Fry, Mr. Peter (Wellingborough)

Graham, Mr. Thomas (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde)

Michie, Mrs. Ray (Argyll and Bute)

Snape, Mr. Peter (West Bromwich, East)

Thompson, Mr. Patrick (Norwich, North)

Helme, Miss P. A., Committee Clerk

2 3 Third Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Wednesday 9 December 1987

[SIR MICHAEL SHAW in the Chair]

Draft Air Navigation (Noise Certification) Order 1987

10.30 am

The Minister for Roads and Traffic (Mr. Peter Bottomley): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the draft Air Navigation (Noise Certification) Order 1987. The order, the fifth of its kind, is intended to replace the Air Navigation (Noise Certification) Order 1986. Most of the new order simply repeats the old order, with minor revisions. The most significant change from the previous order is the introduction of new International Civil Aviation Organisation noise standards for new and derived versions of light propeller-driven aeroplanes. In addition, the weight limit for these aircraft is being increased from 5,700 kg to 9,000 kg. Some aircraft have been found to be most disturbing on take-off and so the new standard is based on a take-off test rather than on the level fly-over test, which is the basis for the existing standards. The draft order also deals with microlights and introduces a requirement that foreign-registered microlight aircraft should be capable of meeting the United Kingdom's most stringent microlight noise standards when operated in this country. These are our own standards. In this instance we are ahead of the ICAO. The order is perhaps not the easiest of documents to follow as there are many categories of aircraft and, therefore, many related standards. Like the 1986 order, it is structured to bring within its scope entire categories of aircraft while provision is made for exemptions to be granted by the Civil Aviation Authority after consultation with the Secretary of State. The order should be read in conjunction with the CAA's "Official Record Series 4", which lists those aircraft for which no ICAO standards exist. I should assure the Committee that our manufacturing industry and my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry have known of the impending new standards for some time and are satisfied that they can meet them. By coincidence, the date when the order will come into effect—1 January 1988—is important for another reason. From that date foreign subsonic jet aeroplanes that do not satisfy the requirements of the order will be banned from operating in the United Kingdom. Such aeroplanes on the United Kingdom register have 4 already been banned since 1 January 1986. Thus from 1 January we shall ensure that the noisiest jet aircraft can no longer operate. I know that this measure will give welcome relief to many people living around our major airports. Although the order is a relatively small step it underlines the continued commitment of the Government and Parliament to alleviating the problem of aircraft noise by introducing at the earliest practicable opportunity the latest internationally agreed noise standards. I am grateful for the general support of hon. Members and I commend the order to the Committee.

10.33 am

Mr. Peter Snape (West Bromwich, East): The Committee will welcome the non-controversial way in which the Minister opened our proceedings. He referred to complications, and if it is any consolation to him, I do not really understand this order and I did not understand last year's order, when I played the same role. I can fairly register the Opposition's pleasure that noise is to be judged on the take-off test rather than on fly-over, which is a welcome improvement. The Minister mentioned the banning of the noisiest jets from airports. I know how diligent he is, and I am sure that he will be aware that noise is a constant and never-ending source of complaint around many major airports. Can the Minister say exactly what type of jets will be banned under the order? I leave it to my hon. Friends to decide whether we need further debate. The order appears to be a straightforward, simple updating of a series of regulations that are put forward every 12 months.

10.34 am

Mr. Peter Bottomley: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's support and for the support from both sides of the Committee. The simple answer to the hon. Gentleman's question is that unconverted Boeing 707s are the sort of aircraft that are likely to disturb us no longer. The order has caused some disturbance to those who operate them, but as foreign aircraft have had two year's leeway after the implementation of the United Kingdom register standards it is right that they should meet the same standards as our aircraft.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the draft Air Navigation (Noise Certification) Order 1987.

Committee rose at twenty-six minutes to Eleven o'clock.



Shaw, Sir Michael (Chairman)

Adley, Mr.

Bendall, Mr.

Bevan, Mr.

Boateng, Mr.

Bottomley, Mr. Peter

Carlisle, Mr. Kenneth

Cunliffe, Mr.

Dickens, Mr.

Dunnachie, Mr.

Fry, Mr.

Michie, Mrs. Ray

Snape, Mr.

Thompson, Mr. Patrick