Minister Announces Consultation on Heathrow Night Flights Spring 2012

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers has just announced that the Government will issue a detailed consultation on the current night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick “next spring.”

Speaking in an adjournment debate in Parliament (1), initiated by Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod, Villiers said that the night flight decision would be “one of the most important issues I will face as a Minister.”

The current night flight regime comes to an end in October 2012. The Minister said that the Government might need to ask for a temporary extension of that regime but it hadn’t made a final decision on that. She explained that the reason why the formal consultation on night flights was being delayed until next Spring was to allow the Government to take account of the views expressed in its Aviation Scoping Document, currently out for consultation until September 2011. The Scoping Document is the first stage in the Government’s plans to produce a new aviation policy, expected to be published early in 2013.

In the debate Mary Macleod stressed the adverse impact night flights have on the health and quality of life of residents under the Heathrow flight paths.

HACAN Chair John Stewart (2) said, “We can see the logic in the consultation being delayed. We welcome the fact that Theresa Villiers is taking the issue seriously. This is in contrast to many of her predecessors who seemed to give little thought to night flights.”


Notes for Editors:
(1) Debate can be seen on

(2) John Stewart is Chair of HACAN, Campaigning against Aircraft Noise.

For more information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; 07957 385650 (but in Brussels Wednesday and Thursday)

Margaret Thorburn on 0208 568 4079 or 07885 454300

Monica Robb on 0208 560 3734