CAGNE listens to residents of West Sussex and Surrey and joins the call for a night ban at Gatwick
The long awaited Department for Transport (DfT) night flight consultation was finally released on 12th January. It is intended the new regime will last for 5 years, and there will be no cut in the number of night flights in this time. There will be minimal, and theoretical, cuts in the quota count (a scoring system based on how noisy planes are). Commenting on the consultation, Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE said the deadline for comment of 28th February leaves too little time for residents to respond. The consultation continues to ignore the impact night flights have on people’s health. The government should, instead of just looking at economic benefits (largely to airlines) consider the health implications of high levels of noise at night, not allowing enough quiet hours for healthy sleep. Ideally CAGNE, along with other groups, would like to see the consultation halted, and revised to contain measures to genuinely reduce the burden of night flight noise. Instead, the consultation proposes allowing many more flights in the night period, in winter, at Gatwick. Gatwick already has the most night flights. In summer 2016, Heathrow had 2,949 (3,250 allowed), Gatwick had 11,303 (11,200 allowed) and Stansted 7,370 (7,000 allowed). This number of night flights is “simply unacceptable to residents around Gatwick.” They should be phased out, not increased.
Campaign group listens to residents of West Sussex and Surrey and joins the call for a night ban at Gatwick
29.1.2017 (CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)
The long awaited Department for Transport (DfT) night flight consultation was finally released on 12th January, with the consultation documents. The deadline for completion is 28th February.
Documents here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-gatwick-heathrow-and-stansted and consultation responses can be submitted using the DfT online response form at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/J6KX6.
Commenting on the consultation, Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE said:
“This leaves very little time for residents to respond and the report continues to ignore the impact night flights have on people’s health. We call for the Government to urgently examine the health implications and subsequent health cost of night flights in comparison to the economic benefits of aviation that currently benefit from paying not VAT or duty on fuel.”
“Ideally we would like to see the consultation halted as it allows Gatwick to continue to grow, permitting the airport to have all year round aircraft movements, at the level of the peak summer months. This would remove the respite that residents have come to expect during the winter months when Gatwick is relatively quiet.”
The current restrictions on night movements expire in October 2017 and the DfT consultation details the proposals for the restrictions that should replace them. It is proposed that the restrictions should last for five years, which CAGNE believes, is too long.
“It is good to see that the Government acknowledges that aircraft noise at night represents the least acceptable form of aircraft noise. However the government seem to give more weight to the economic case for night flights, above the health implications of allowing night flights to continue. With Gatwick having the most night flights, this is simply unacceptable to residents around Gatwick.”
“We know residents are dreading – for yet another year – the summer months as Gatwick continues to cause major noise issues for communities in a 30 miles radius off its single runway. The concentrated flight paths to and from the airport are relentless and noisy for rural areas. This is especially the case, as some planes are over 20 years old – and therefore noisier than more modern planes – and should not depart during the night,” said Sally.
The annual noise reports for all three airports can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/noise-exposure-contours-around-london-airports
The amount of quota used at Gatwick in recent years
Gatwick used (Summer 2014) 4943 of its 6200 total (new total 4870)
Gatwick used (Summer 2015) 4765 of its 6200 total
Gatwick used (Summer 2016) 4912 of its 6200 total (so not hard to meet new total)
Gatwick used (Winter 2013) 828 of its 2000 total (new total 1655)
Gatwick used (Winter 2014) 852 of its 2000 total
Gatwick used (Winter 2015) 953 of its 2000 total (so new total is far higher than use – the reason for the massive discrepancy is not clear)
DfT publishes disappointing consultation on night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted
The long awaited consultation on Night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted has now finally been published, for the 5 years to October 2022 (well before any new runway). It has been delayed for 3 years. Many people whose sleep is disturbed by night flights had been hoping for real prospects of the number of night flights being reduced. However, the consultation (that ends on 28th February) merely suggests keeping the numbers of flights between 23:30 and 06:00 the same at Heathrow and Gatwick, but increasing the number at Stansted. [“Night” is defined as 2300-0700 local time]. At Heathrow the number would remain at 2,550 in the winter and 3,250 in the summer (seasons based on dates the clocks change to/from summer time). That is an annual total of 5,800 which averages as 16 per night through the year. The figure at Gatwick is 3,250 in the winter and 11,200 in the summer, making an annual total of 14,450 which averages as 40 per night through the year. However, the DfT proposes reducing the total noise quota (points based on the noise of planes at night) at Heathrow Airport by at least 43% in the winter and 50% in the summer, ie. a reduction of at least 1,740 in the winter to 2,340 (from 4080) and 2,560 in the summer to 2,540 (from 5100). The cut in quota count at Gatwick would be 17% in winter and 21% in summer., ie. a reduction of at least 345 in the winter to 1655 (from 2000) and 1,330 in the summer to 4870 (from 6200).
Gatwick has more night flights than Heathrow or Stansted – and that will continue for next 5 years
The Government Department for Transport (DfT) has released the long awaited night flight consultation documents (ends 28th February). The number of flights between 23:00 and 07.00 would not be reduced. The current number, and the one proposed for the next 5 years, is 3,250 in the winter and 11,200 in the summer, making an annual total of 14,450 which averages as 40 per night through the year. There will be a slight reduction in the quota count, as it is not being used – so the new figure will not change anything. This will be a reduction of at least 345 in the winter to 1655 [from 2000] and 1,330 in the summer to 4870 [from 6200]. Local campaign group CAGNE has commented about how unsatisfactory the proposals for Gatwick are. Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE said: “We would like to see a total ban on Gatwick night flights as this is a major cause of complaints we receive from communities. Summer nights especially when residents want to enjoy their gardens and have windows open on hot evenings.” CAGNE says it is regrettable that the government seems to “accept the economic case over the health implications of allowing night flights to continue.” Gatwick plans to continue to grow at perhaps 10% per year, meaning continually increasing noise.