Views sought on bid to cut noise from airport flights
18th January 2017 – Crawley Observer
By Staff Reporter
The Government has announced new measures to cut the noise allowed from night flights at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted.
Measures out for public consultation aim to encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit the number of people affected by aircraft noise at night” while maintaining the existing benefits to passengers and the economy of night flights, said a Department of Transport spokesman.
Current night flight restrictions at the three airports expire in October 2017, and the new rules will last for the next five years up to 2023.
Measures out for consultation include:
- Reducing noise quotas at Gatwick by at least 17 percent in the winter (from 2,000 to 1,655) and 21 percent in the summer (6,200 to 4,870)
- Setting a strict cap at existing levels for the number of night flights from Heathrow and Gatwick
- Ending exemptions for almost 1700 night flights operating out of Stansted by including these in the new cap, setting a strict limit which the airport cannot exceed
- Reducing the total noise quota at Heathrow Airport by at least 43 percent in the winter (from 4,080 to 2,340) and 50 per cent in the summer (5,100 to 2,540)
Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said: This Government is committed to tackling the issue of aircraft noise, especially flights at night” which can be a blight for people living near airports.
Night flights are, however, important to the economy, creating extra choice for passengers and moving freight, and we need to carefully balance the needs of local communities with the benefits these flights can bring.
*That’s why we are encouraging the use of quieter aircraft by bringing in tighter noise quotas at the airports and setting strict caps on aircraft movements at night.”
Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions) said we would like to see a total ban on Gatwick night flights as this is a major complaint we receive from communities. Summer nights especially when communities want to enjoy their gardens and have windows open on hot evenings.
The consultation will run until February 28 2017. For more information visit: Night flight restrictions at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted
Night flights ‘serious impact on health’
Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said Gatwick had more night flights than any other London airport.
He added: “We are disappointed that there is to be virtually no reduction in the number of flights.
People across Britain arc kept awake by aircraft and there is growing evidence that this has a serious impact on health, so GACC’s aim is to see a ban on an night flights.
“GACC, however, welcomes and supports the suggestion by the Government that the permitted level of noise at night (the noise quota) at Gatwick may be cut by 20 percent over the next five years.
That will not only have an obvious advantage but it will force airlines to buy and to use quieter aircraft – and that will also have a benefit during the day.
Also welcome is the-proposal to reduce the noise quotas to the current level of use, that will not make any difference to the current situation but will prevent a potential sizeable increase in future years. It is something that GACC has argued for in the past.”