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10 Dec 2002 : Column 202W—continued

Air Transport Consultation

Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses to the National Consultation on the Future of Air Transport in the UK he had received, broken down by region, by 30 November. [85734]

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Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wellington (Mr. Brake) on 9 December 2002, Official Report, columns 32–33W.

Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what gas pipelines are routed through the location of the Midlands New Site set out in the National Consultation on the Future of Air Transport in the UK: Midlands; and what plans there are to move them should this option be selected; [85740]

Mr. Jamieson: In light of the current consultation on air transport, we will set out in the White Paper our policies on how much airport development is necessary, where this should be located and on what main terms and conditions such development could be taken forward No decisions have been taken.

We will be looking carefully at all the issues raised by consultees in response to the options set out in the Midlands consultation document. Many important issues of detail will need to be addressed by a developer should there be any development and will be for later determination during subsequent statutory planning procedures.

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the air transport consultation process, if he will place in the Library the extrapolated passenger figures for Birmingham Airport for the period 2031 to 2060 referred to in the document Regional Air Services 3: Midlands Part B Appraisal Final Report section Core Economic Appraisal 2.9.4. [85862]

Mr. Jamieson: The passenger throughputs which could be accommodated at Birmingham International Airport, under the options presented in the consultation document, were appraised under two scenarios, the RASCO Reference Case and SERAS, the South East Constrained Case. The figures for Birmingham Airport are as follows.

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Max use21,307,33522,000,000
Max use20,711,39222,000,000

Once capacity has been reached, by 2041, the figures remain at these levels up to 2060.

Airports (Homeowner Compensation)

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to compensate homeowners for the loss in value of their homes, should new airports be built. [86165]

Mr. Jamieson: The principal Acts covering compulsory purchase and compensation are the Land Compensation Acts of 1961 and 1973, the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

For people whose property is required to allow for a proposed development, compansation is payable on the basis that they should be no worse off in financial terms after the acquisition that they were before. This means that they receive compensation for the value of their property based on its open market value if there had been no proposal to acquire their property compulsorily plus the reimbursement of any actual costs and losses incurred as a result of having to move.

In addition, both owner-occupiers and tenants who are displaced from their home as a result of a compulsory purchase, and have occupied the property as their main residence for a year or more, will be entitled to a home-loss payment. In the case of tenants this is currently #1,500 while owner-occupiers receive 10 per cent. of the value of their property subject to minimum and maximum thresholds which are currently set at #1,500 and #15,000. However, both the flat rate payable to tenants and the thresholds for owner-occupiers are currently being reviewed, including proposals for increasing the payments above the present #15,000 ceiling. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published a consultation document about this on 27 September, inviting comments by 6 January 2003.

People whose property does not need to be demolished may be entitled to compensation to cover depreciation in the value of their land due to physical factors caused by the use of a development, such as noise, smell, smoke and fumes. In this case, compensation for the loss in value would be based upon prices current on the first claim day, which is 12 months after the first use of the public works.

In addition to these rules, the consultation on The Future Development of Air Transport in the South East is seeking views on additional mitigation and compensation measures for people who might suffer noise impacts as a result of an airport development option. These measures are outlined in paragraphs 16.49—16.58 of the main consultation document.

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Airports Consultation

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he will take to ensure that the eventual recommendations for aviation based on Birmingham Airport will be consistent with the Government's policies for protection of the environment (a) locally, (b) nationally and (c) internationally. [86232]

Mr. Jamieson: The challenge for next year's White Paper is to ensure that airport development is sustainable, that is to say that it achieves a proper balance between economic, social and environmental considerations. Delivering any additional airport capacity will be within the framework of local, national and international policies to protect the environment.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates his Department has made of the number of residents that would be subjected to levels of pollutants above EU limits, were three additional runways to be built at Stansted. [86262]

Mr. Jamieson: As reported in XThe Future of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: South East" (page 70), it is estimated for three new runways at Stansted that no one would be exposed to an exceedence of the limit for PM10 ; and that just over 300 people could be exposed to an exceedence of the limit for NO2 by 2030. It is likely that this impact could in practice be prevented.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessments his Department has made of the viability of an offshore airport. [86263]

Mr. Jamieson: The SERAS Stage 0 (site search) involved identifying potential new sites to serve the South East and East of England. Over 400 new and existing airport sites, including potential offshore sites, were considered. The most promising options were taken forward into the main SERAS study.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the consultancy firms and consultants he is using to collate the responses to the future of air transport consultation; and what steps he took to ensure there were no conflicts of interests on the part of employees of those consultancy firms. [86368]

Mr. Jamieson: The analysis of the consultation responses will be carried out by a team comprising civil servants and retained consultants, including Arups, Avia Solutions, Halcrow and the Route Development Company. This will enable us to draw on a wide range of expertise covering aviation, surface access, safety and environmental issues. We have asked the consultants to identify any areas of work for other clients which relate to the air transport consultation and therefore might be considered a conflict of interest so that we can ensure they are not involved in appraising these responses. They have also been asked to consult us on any future requests to undertake work which might result in a possible conflict.

Aviation Standards

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes there have been to the standards for (a) noise limits, (b) minimum flying heights and (c) monitoring of noise levels for aircraft

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departing (i) Heathrow, (ii) Gatwick and (iii) Stansted airports since December 2000; and what assessment has been made of the effect of the changes. [86106]

Mr. Jamieson: On 18 December 2000 my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) announced new departure noise limits for aircraft departing from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and improved noise monitoring arrangements Official Report columns 11–12W). In accordance with that decision, the new night-time noise limit of 87 dB A came into effect during the night quota period (2330–0600 hours) from 25 March 2ooi; all other aspects of the decision, including the new daytime (0700–2300 hours) noise limit of 94dBA and the requirement for aircraft to be at a height of 1000 feet aal (above airport level) at 6.5 km from start of roll, came into effect from 25 February 2001.

The noise limits (including the old night-time noise limit of 89 dBA which continues to apply 2300–2330 and 0600–0700 hours) apply at the fixed noise monitor positions as determined by my hon. friend.

Included in the announcement of 18 December 2000 was the decision to commence a further review of the departure noise limits and associated noise monitors. The technical work is being carried out by the Environmental Research and Consultancy Department (ERCD) of the Civil Aviation Authority. It is examining a method for assessing the effectiveness of the current monitoring arrangements and any possible improvements, as well as the scope for any further reductions in the departure noise limits. Our conclusions on the way forward in the light of that study will be announced in due course.

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