Call for limit on Luton night flights

28.2.2009   (Hemel Today)

Councillors are calling on Luton Airport to restrict the number of night flights
in response to complaints about noise disturbance.

A full meeting of Dacorum Borough Council last night (Wednesday, February 25)
unanimously supported a motion urging airport chiefs to review their policy and
limit night flights to ‘at most the current number’.

Planning chief Ian Reay told fellow councillors total flights at the airport
had increased from 7,000 in 2000 to 10,000 in 2007.

He said there were currently 36 flights at night, which was more than occurred
at Heathrow.

“The economic benefit has to be balanced by the impact on the community,” he

“The number of night movements could increase tenfold.”

The motion says that Luton – unlike Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – places no
limit on the number of night flights.

Councillors say a limit should operate between 11pm and 6am from Monday to Saturday
and 11pm to 7am on Sunday.

Councillor Lloyd Harris said: “I’m fed up by being woken up at night by aircraft.”

Environment chief Bert Chapman said to have more night flights than Heathrow
was a ‘ridiculous situation’.

Councillor Nick Hollinghurst said: “I think we’re all united in trying to get
a grip on the problem.”

see also
Pressure on Airport to Reduce Night Flights
07:21 – 28 January 2009
NIGHT flights over Comet country may be reduced as pressure builds from politicians.

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has backed a move by St Albans District
councillors to put a stop to the high number of planes flying into Luton Airport
at night. And he has called on other councils to do the same.

At present Luton is the only London airport to set its own policy on numbers
and they are significantly higher than others which serve the capital.

Mr Lilley said: “I have long argued that it is bizarre that Luton is the only
London airport which is not subject to central government limits on night flights
– instead it sets its own policy which does not restrict the number of flights,
only the noise level.

“As a result, Luton had an average of 36 movements per night from July to September
last year. By contrast, Heathrow has only 16 to 18 flights per night and Stansted
has 30 per night, even though they handle many more passengers than Luton.

“So I welcome the motion that councillors have tabled urging St Albans District
Council to put pressure on the operators of Luton airport to introduce some limits
on the number of night flights. I hope other councils will take similar steps
to press for sensible limits on anti-social night flights.

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