Night Flights to Continue

Government to make no significant change to night flights regime until 2017

The Government is proposing no significant change to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017.  In its long-awaited night flights consultation, published this morning, it says that it does not want to pre-empt the findings of the Airports Commission which is due to publish its final report in summer 2015.

The current night flight regime at the country’s three designated airports, Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick, ends in October 2014.  Normally a new regime is put in place to cover the next five or six years.  This time the Government has decided in effect to roll-over the existing regime until 2017.  The only change for Heathrow is a proposal “to extend the operational ban on the noisiest types of aircraft to include the 23.00-23.30 period. Such aircraft are already banned in the rest of the night period (23.30 – 07.00)”.

At present 16 flights are allowed at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am.  The first flights lands around 4.30am.  There are no scheduled take-offs during this period.  Around 65 flights use the airport between 6am and 7am.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the campaign group fighting noise on behalf of residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said, “Local people hate night flights with a vengeance.  There will be huge disappointment that their sleep will continue to disturbed.  We will fight for an end to night flights in 2017.”

The consultation on the Government’s proposals lasts until the end of January.

November 14, 2013