Stop Stansted Expansion calls for cross-party support at the election, to end night flights
Ahead of the general election and local council elections on 7th May, SSE is calling upon all local candidates to support a ban on night flights at Stansted. Stansted currently has permission to operate 12,000 night flights a year, between 11.30pm – 6am, more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow. [Heathrow is restricted to 5,800 night take-offs & landings /year between 11.30pm- 6am]. SSE has long argued to the Government that night flights have a far greater impact on local residents around Stansted because of its rural location where background noise levels are generally very low. The number of Stansted night flights has significantly increased over the past year, and this is believed to be largely due to the closure of Manston Airport and transfer of its cargo flights. SSE says “night” should not only be a 6½ hour period, but should be the 8 hours between 11.00pm to 7.00am, to give people a proper night’s rest. There are no restrictions on the number of aircraft permitted to take-off and land at Stansted during the so-called shoulder periods between 11.00pm and 11.30pm and between 6.00am and 7.00am. SSE is inviting politicians of all parties to support a timetable to progressively phase out nights flight
Stop Stansted Expansion calls for cross-party support to end night flights
Ahead of the general election and local council elections to be held on 7 May, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling upon all local candidates to support a ban on night flights at Stansted.
Stansted currently has permission to operate 12,000 night flights a year, more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow. SSE has long argued to the Government that night flights have a far greater impact on local residents around Stansted because of its rural location where background noise levels are generally very low.
The number of night flights at Stansted has significantly increased over the past year, and this is believed to be largely due to the closure of Manston Airport. This led to Manston’s remaining cargo airlines transferring to Stansted. Whilst at Manston, these aircraft were subject to a ban on night flights, imposed by the local council. However, there is no such ban at Stansted.
SSE also wants all politicians to recognise that the 12,000 limit only applies to the 6½ hour period between 11.30pm and 6.00am whereas the normal definition of ‘night’ is the 8-hours between 11.00pm to 7.00am. There are no restrictions on the number of aircraft permitted to take-off and land at Stansted during the so-called shoulder periods between 11.00pm and 11.30pm and between 6.00am and 7.00am.
SSE has long argued that those living in the vicinity of Stansted and/or under its flight paths should have the right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep, which should mean a full 8 hours and not just the 6½ hours covered by the current restrictions on night flights.
Martin Peachey, SSE’s noise adviser, commented: “Politicians of all persuasions appear sympathetic to ways of reducing the effects of sleep disturbance and adverse health impacts caused by night flights for residents around airports. With the approaching general election and local council elections, we invite politicians of all parties to support a timetable to progressively phase out nights flights”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Further background is contained in SSE’s submission on night flights to the Government in January 2014 – see http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press473.html
FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
SSE Campaign Office,
Restrictions on UK ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted extended until 2017
In the Government’s response to the Airports Commission’s December 2013 interim report, Patrick McLoughlin announced that plans to more than double the number of ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports have been postponed until 2017. Under proposals outlined in the Commission’s interim report the number of planes allowed to land at the airport before 6am each day would have increased from 16 to 35 from 2015. The government now says it wants to ensure “regulatory stability” at south east airports while the Commission makes its final recommendations on which airport should be recommended to be allowed to build a new runway. The government is also extending the ban on “rare movements made by older noisier types of aircraft.” McLoughlin said: “This decision will help give certainty around the night noise environment for those living near the airports, as well as ensuring operational capacity at these airports is not affected pending decisions on any new airport capacity in light of the commission’s final report.” The government has also postponed the Commission’s recommendation for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority.
Knutsford Council urged to lobby Manchester airport over possible increase in night flights
[Manchester Airports Group owns both Manchester and Stansted airports]
Councillors in Knutsford are planning to lobby Manchester Airport on concerns about more night flights over the town. Knutsford is only a few kilometres from the end of the runway. Map. A Knutsford councillor, who is on the airport’s community relations team, was informed by the airport’s management that Terminal 2 is set to double in size, with plans for more night flights to cope with increased traffic. This will affect Knutsford. Currently, an agreement curtails night flights – take offs and landings – but circumstances will change with both the expansion and the ending of the current arrangements in 2017. The council need to lobby on details of the timing of those night flights. The airport statement gave the usual bland assurances about “improving the passenger and airline experience” and having controls on night noise that are “amongst the toughest in the UK ” and balancing the “interests of our local communities and the demand from our passengers to fly.” Sadly, the benefit tot he airlines and passengers generally trumps the interests of the residents. Manchester Airport allows a large number of night flights already – with a limit of around 11,000 per year (7% of the total flights). That can work out to more than 45 per night, in the period from 23:30 to 06.00.
Full details of extent of Heathrow night flight plans ‘dug up’ by Leader of Wandsworth Council
February 13, 2014
The full extent of the Government’s plans to increase night flights into Heathrow has been “dug up” by anti-noise campaigners in the technical appendix of an Airports Commission’s interim report. The report was publicised on 17th December. The appendix shows that the number of planes allowed to land at Heathrow before 6am will increase from 16 to 35 from next year. Leader of the anti-Heathrow nights flights opposition, Ravi Govindia (also Leader of Wandsworth Council) said: “We shouldn’t have to dig deep into a technical document to find out what is in store for us.” Heathrow wants the amount of “stacking” to be reduced before the morning rush-hour. They say residents would be given “respite” from the noise, by having more in alternate weeks, followed by a week without planes. Mr Govindia, who is also the leader of the 2M group of 20 councils opposed to expansion of Heathrow, said people on the final approach flight paths into Heathrow were “deeply opposed” to the early-morning arrivals, which affect their sleep and are linked to serious health issues. The Airports Commission said: “We have recommended a trial of early-morning smoothing. A trial provides the opportunity for communities around Heathrow to experience and comment on the impacts.”
Frankfurt night flight ban between 11pm and 5am upheld by higher court
April 6, 2012
A German court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport, Europe’s third busiest, dealing a blow to German flagship airline Lufthansa and airport operator Fraport. Lufthansa says it needs Frankfurt night flights so its cargo operations can compete with fast-growing Gulf airports and it will be hit financially if there is a ban. In 2009 the local government said it would allow 17 flights between 11 pm and 5am from the end of October 2011 on economic grounds. Then residents under the flight paths took the case to court. Their complaint was upheld in October by a local court just before the opening of the 4th runway. Now a judge at a higher court in Leipzig confirmed the ban and said the federal state of Hesse must make a new decision on whether to allow night flights. Along with a total ban from 11 pm to 5 am, the Leipzig court also reduced the number of flights permitted in the period covering the so-called shoulder hours from 10 pm to 6 am to 133 from 150. This will have implications for other European airports like Paris Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow.