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Division No. 2


CONTENTS

Ackner, L.
Addington, L. [Teller]
Ampthill, L.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Astor, V.
Avebury, L.
Ballyedmond, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Chidgey, L.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cobbold, L.
Colwyn, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cuckney, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
D'Souza, B.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Feldman, L.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goodlad, L.
Greaves, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Kilclooney, L.
Kirkham, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar, C.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Parkinson, L.
Patten, L.
Peel, E.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rawlings, B.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shephard of Northwold, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L. [Teller]
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Taverne, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tonge, B.
Tope, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tyler, L.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Windlesham, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
Cunningham of Felling, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Elystan-Morgan, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Falkender, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Judd, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Monson, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Snape, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Sutherland of Houndwood, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Whitaker, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.


Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.


 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 766
 
4.24 pm

Lord Bradshaw moved Amendment No. 2:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 3:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Hanham moved Amendment No. 4:


"( ) The Secretary of State shall review the maximum noise limits on aircraft taking off from designated airports and shall take account of the target of reducing the perceived external noise of new aircraft by 50 per cent by 2020 compared to 2000, and shall report to Parliament in such manner as he thinks fit at regular intervals."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment is designed to give statutory force to the voluntary targets set by the United Kingdom aviation industry published in its commendable sustainable aviation policy. It would ensure that the aviation industry was held to its self-professed targets. If it is
 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 767
 
not held to them, the sustainable policy will be perceived as nothing more than a public relations stunt. The amendment is also designed to ensure that those companies that have pledged to take these important steps to achieving a substantial reduction of external aircraft noise are not disadvantaged by competition from those foreign-owned airline operators that have not made such commitments.

When we tabled these amendments in Grand Committee, the burden of the Minister's reply was that the character of air travel meant that the Government's hands were effectively tied by international laws and conventions. Until recently, all civil aviation operating in the EU had to meet Chapter 3 standards, which were agreed as far back as 1977. From this year all new aircraft must comply with Chapter 4 standards, representing a reduction of 10 decibels on Chapter 3 aircraft. Crucially, however, there is no agreed date for phasing out Chapter 3 aircraft. The benefits that can be enjoyed with the introduction of newer, significantly quieter technologies are therefore being lost because of a lack of legislative compulsion to phase out the ageing fleet.

Since aircraft are replaced on average every 20 to 35 years, we risk squandering the benefits new technology can offer to those communities adversely affected by aircraft noise because of our reluctance to insist that aircraft are subject to truly progressive targets. It is important to note that in Europe the aircraft are replaced on average only every eight years, allowing greater uptake of improved technology. That is a big difference.

The timescales provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation do not reflect the current advance of technology. To have nearly 30 years between the start of Chapter 3 and the introduction of its successor is, frankly, ridiculous. It suggests that international standards for aircraft noise follow technological developments rather than drive them, a situation reflected in the fact that the new chapter targets are already outstripped by current improvements in aircraft technology, which are already achieving a reduction in external noise of 20 decibels. In fact, Rolls-Royce reports that modern aircraft can achieve a reduction of 18 to 24 decibels below the Chapter 3 standard. Chapter 4 requires only a 10-decibel reduction. These technological improvements demonstrate that there is a capacity to reduce noise further.

Targets should be driving the industry forward, not chasing to catch it up. Imagine what the aviation industry could achieve with real legislative compulsion. The introduction of long-term target-setting will complement what the Government are trying to achieve by sanctioning the use of noise- and emissions-related landing charges, and will drive forward technological advance in the industry. The sustainable aviation document produced by the UK aviation industry demonstrates a willingness to take on such technology, and the Government need to hold it to those standards.

To date, the industry has focused on the reduction of engine noise. That is sufficiently low that attacking noise from the airframe, which may be more
 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 768
 
challenging to reduce, is becoming as important. Current technology suggests that that target is achievable, but there is agreement that it will not be possible without radical changes to aircraft design. Further improvements in technology will therefore be harder to achieve, and will require a much stronger lead.

Without putting words into his mouth, I realise the Minister will be reluctant to accept this amendment, but I urge him to recognise its purpose. The ICAO is unlikely to introduce standards that are not already achievable, yet, without the imposition of searching targets at some level, we will not provide sufficient drive for the type of technological innovation the industry requires. I beg to move.

4.30 pm


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