§ 59. Mr. W. R. Williams
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will have immediate inquiry made into complaints by many residents in Heston and Isleworth regarding the low flying of air liners coming into and leaving the London Airport late at night and in the early hours of the morning; whether he is aware that many liners enter the airport at a much lower height during the night than during the daytime and that the noise and vibration caused are disturbing and distressing the inhabitants, especially children; and if he will take all steps possible to reduce the nuisance to the absolute minimum.
§ Mr. Lindgren
My noble Friend is always ready to investigate specific complaints of any unnecessary low flying. Detailed examination of past complaints, however, shows that in most cases the aircraft concerned were flying in strict accordance with accepted principles, and that a general inquiry would be unlikely to prove worth while. At night, aircraft appear to observers on the ground to be flying lower than they really are, because only the navigation lights are seen. Moreover, the impression of noise at night is accentuated by the absence of noise on the ground. It is not possible to avoid all noise at a large international airport, but everything possible is done to ensure that pilots of aircraft conform strictly to the rules governing approach and take-off. It is hoped that certain night training that has recently taken place at London Air- 1314 port can shortly be removed to a more suitable area.
§ Mr. Williams
In order to try to reassure the residents in my constituency who live in close proximity to the London Airport, will my hon. Friend have a special inquiry into the complaint raised in the second part of my Question in regard to night flying?
§ Mr. Lindgren
Noise is bound at present to arise when aircraft land and take off. A pilot does not unnecessarily risk his life, apart from the lives of others, by flying low unnecessarily when about to land, or by flying low longer than necessary in taking off. Everything possible is done to minimise the risk to aircraft and to avoid disturbance to passengers.