DfT announces start of 3 month consultation on night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted
The government has begun a 3 month consultation into night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports. It is calling for views and evidence on “the effectiveness of the current regime, the costs and benefits of future options and airlines’ fleet replacement plans”. The consultation closes on 22nd April 2013. Transport Minister Simon Burns says: “This consultation includes a review of current evidence on the costs of night flights, particularly noise, and the benefits of these flights. It sets out our thinking on how we would expect to appraise the policy options for the next night flights regime.” The government will publish the 2nd consultation later this year. It will include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights. The proposals in the 2nd consultation will be informed by the evidence received from this 1st stage consultation. The Dft says it aims to strike “a fair balance between the interests of those affected by the noise disturbance and those of the airports, passengers and the UK economy.”
Statement by Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport:
The first of 2 night noise consultations is announced today.
On 26 March 2012 the government announced that it would extend the existing restrictions on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports for a period of 2 years until October 2014. This extension will ensure a new night flying regime can take account of the aviation policy framework which the government has committed to have in place by the spring.
Today I have published the first of 2 consultations which will inform the development of the next night noise regime. This first consultation seeks views and evidence on a range of issues including the effectiveness of the current regime, the costs and benefits of future options and airlines’ fleet replacement plans. Additionally this consultation includes a review of current evidence on the costs of night flights, particularly noise, and the benefits of these flights. It sets out our thinking on how we would expect to appraise the policy options for the next night flights regime and seeks views on our approach.
We will publish the second consultation later this year and this will include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights. These proposals, which will be informed by the evidence we receive from this first stage consultation, will need to strike a fair balance between the interests of those affected by the noise disturbance and those of the airports, passengers and the UK economy.
Consultation and associated documents at
This initial consultation seeks views on night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
As a first step to setting the next night flights regime, we are using this consultation to gather evidence to inform both our development of options for the next regime and the work of the Airports Commission.
This is an open call for evidence and we want to gather evidence now to help us assess the relative feasibility of different options.
Night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, written statement by the Minister of State for Transport, 22 January 2013
We are seeking views on night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
PDF, 1.05MB, 94 pages
PDF, 13.9MB, 64 pages
Contact the DfT by 22 April 2013
Write to the DfT:
Department for Transport,
Great Minster House (1/26),
33 Horseferry Road,
Heathrow residents disappointed there is still no night flight ban in the Dft consultation
Date added: January 22, 2013
Commenting on the publication today of the DfT’s consultation into a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, HACAN (the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said is was disappointed that the Government has still not committed itself to a night flight ban. 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. 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.”
See also, from the HACAN website:
Economic costs of sleep deprivation to be included in night flights review
In a Lord’s debate (28/5/12) the Government announced it would consider the economic loss due to sleep loss when it reviews night flights later this year. This will be the first time this has been done. The issue was first raised in a CE Delft Report published by HACAN. Welcome move.
Read the HACAN report