Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
1. The proposed monitoring function which the Honourable Member refers to, will take the form of a quality check of the noise assessment process. The quality check will not prejudge the noise abatement objectives or the concrete measures taken. Hence, the monitoring function will not substitute Member States' decisions and will not encroach on Member States' independence.
2. The text of the proposal refers to relevant International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) documents. These documents always follow this order, putting noise-related operating restrictions last. The purpose of the proposal is to make evidence-based decisions, whereby the competent authorities have full discretion to decide on the mix of measures, based on cost-effectiveness considerations.
3. The proposal leaves it to the Member States to decide on noise abatement measures on an airport by airport basis. The characteristics of European airports are quite different from each other, and hence need to be tailor made. These measures are expected to be considered in the framework of a range of objectives, including health objectives, set at the national level. Therefore, it remains for the competent authorities to balance external costs, including health effects of air traffic noise, and welfare effects created by aviation activities in the wider region.