asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is aware of the considerable nuisance caused to residents at Ballymun, Finglas and other north Dublin suburbs by the noise level of aircraft using Dublin Airport; and if any measures are being taken to deal with this problem which is likely to become more acute with the coming of larger aircraft.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Aircraft Noise Level.
Measures are taken at Dublin Airport to minimise disturbance to the public by aircraft using the airport. For example, scheduled flights by jet aircraft are not permitted between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.; runway selection for landing and taking-off takes into account the need to avoid populated areas and rapid climb-out on reduced power is advised. These procedures, of course, are permissible only when they are consistent with safety.
Noise control is a very complex problem. The question is being studied by my Department which is in close association with investigations being undertaken by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Manufacturers of aircraft have also been conducting research on a wide scale in engine noise technology and as a result the next generation of subsonic jet engines are expected to be quieter in that at no greater noise level, they will have up to 50 per cent greater power, which in turn will give a faster climb out.
Towards a better understanding of the local problem steps are being taken to measure noise levels at Dublin Airport and from these to obtain typical noise contours. This information will be necessary for the assessment of further abatement procedures that may be practicable. I regret the disturbance in the meantime, to residents in the north Dublin suburbs, but it is to be hoped that further remedial measures can evolve with the growing knowledge of the problem.
Will the Minister state, first, how close the runways are to the Ballymun flats; and, secondly, whether he agrees that the location of these flats was really a bad decision by the then Minister for Local Government, Deputy Blaney?
The Minister for Local Government at that time, with full Government backing, took a progressive, and, I might say, a pioneering step, in the provision of houses in the city of Dublin.
But the place was not the ideal one.
The job was done.
How close are the runways to the flats?
What does the Deputy want?
I want to know how safe these flats are?
Does the Deputy want the housing and rehousing of the people of Dublin city who need to be housed and rehoused?
The Minister realises that we must have a little planning, but the lack of this has been very evident from what is happening.
I can assure the Deputy there is one way he will not provide houses and that is by sitting on the fence and talking about it.