Commission fast tracks aircraft noise directive

Race is on to replace hushkits ban with new EU system for restricting noisiest planes

Harmonised EU rules on aircraft noise control were proposed yesterday by the European Commission. On an airport-by-airport basis, the draft directive would give member states new rights to ban noisy aircraft and restrict flights at certain times of day. It would also repeal the EU's ban on hushkitted aircraft, the subject of a long trade dispute with the USA.

EU transport commissioner Loyola de Palacio said the proposal marked "a new approach" to dealing with aircraft noise. The Commission argues that harmonised rules will offer the aviation industry long-term certainty, lower compliance costs and will avoid internal market distortions.

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