Residents expressed disappointment that the Government has still not committed itself to a night flight ban in its consultation on a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick, released earlier today. However, they have welcomed the fact that the Government is prepared to look at measures which could mitigate the noise. These include increasing the angle of descent on approach; guaranteed respite periods; changing the existing scheduling or operating bans which affect the noisiest aircraft types.
This consultation is the first part of a two-stage consultation process into replacing the current night flight regime at the UK’s three designated airports which runs out in October 2014. The first stage closes on 22nd April. The second part will contain more detailed proposals.
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “We are very clear that we want a ban on night flights before 6 o’clock and a progressive reduction between 6am and 7am. Many people under the Heathrow flight paths don’t need an alarm clock; the first plane wakes them at 4.30 am.”
Stewart added: “However, we do welcome the fact that the Government is prepared to look at noise mitigation measures such as steeper approaches and guaranteed respite periods.”
Currently there are 16 flights permitted at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am and around 60 between 6am and 7am.
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