§ Mr. Garnier
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's policy is on the(a) expansion and (b) restriction of night flights over rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. McNulty
At airports designated for the purposes of section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, controls on aircraft noise at night may be set under that power: at present, only Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are so designated. At regional airports, controls may be imposed voluntarily by the airport operator, in consultation with those affected. The Department has issued Guidance to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on how to assess environmental impacts of changes to airspace arrangements to augment directions to the CAA under section 66(1) of the Transport Act 2000. The guidance picks up and promotes broader Government policy that the CAA should pursue policies that will help to preserve the tranquillity of the countryside where this does not increase significantly the environmental burdens on congested areas.