Campaign groups call for ban on Gatwick Airport night flights

Both community groups at Gatwick, GACC and CAGNE, are calling for a ban on night flights from Gatwick. “If night flights continue to be allowed, GACC argues they should be limited to those that are genuinely essential for economic reasons, not leisure flights, and that they should be far more strictly regulated.”  Successive governments have acknowledged that noise from aircraft at night has significant health, economic and other impacts on communities near airports and under flight paths, and have asserted that they take this very seriously. But there has been no bottom-up review of the UK’s night flight regime since 2006. Instead, the government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any re-examination of what we believe are the very limited economic benefits, whilst failing to take account of the increasingly strong evidence of the adverse physical and mental health impacts night flights have on communities. There is no reason to continue to operate services at night when there is ample capacity at times of day that have less serious health and community impacts. The first part of the DfT consultation on night flights ended on 3rd March; the second part ends on 31st May.
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Campaign groups call for ban on Gatwick Airport night flights

Two campaign groups are calling for a ban on night flights from Gatwick Airport.

By Sam Dixon-French  (West Sussex County Times)
Friday, 19th March 2021

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) and Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) want to stop planes flying at night to reduce noise and health impacts in the area.

A spokesman for GACC said: “If night flights continue to be allowed, GACC argues they should be limited to those that are genuinely essential for economic reasons, not leisure flights, and that they should be far more strictly regulated.”

Chairman of GACC Peter Barclay added: “People’s health should be put ahead of cheap holidays and airline profits.”

CAGNE said it is calling on residents in the area to respond to the Government’s night flight consultation, which ends on May 31.

A spokesman added: “It is well documented that night flights come with serious health risks as such they carry a cost to residents’ wellbeing and the NHS.”

… and it continues with comments from Gatwick, which can be seen at

https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/people/campaign-groups-call-for-ban-on-gatwick-airport-night-flights-3171791

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GACC said in a recent newsletter on the Night Flights issue:

GACC strongly disagrees with DfT’s proposal to extend current night flight restrictions for an additional two years, for three main reasons.

First, we think it is complacent and irresponsible. Successive governments have acknowledged that noise from aircraft at night has significant health, economic and other impacts on communities near airports and under flight paths, and have asserted that they take this very seriously. But there has been no bottom-up review of the UK’s night flight regime since 2006. Instead, the government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any re-examination of what we believe are the very limited economic benefits, whilst failing to take account of the increasingly strong evidence of the adverse physical and mental health impacts night flights have on communities,

Secondly, there is no reason to continue to operate services at night when there is ample capacity at times of day that have less serious health and community impacts. The current reduction in night flights has been widely welcomed in local communities and the government should be taking steps to ensure they are eliminated or reduced very substantially, rather than permitting the airport to reintroduce them at scale when it pleases.

Thirdly, Gatwick communities are unfairly penalised by the current regime. In the summer, when they have greatest impacts, we have nearly 40% more night flights than Stansted and three times the number at Heathrow.

http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/Newsletters/GACC%20NEWSLETTER%20123%20links%20included%20.pdf


The DfT Night Flights consultation – 2nd part ends 31st May 2021.

They say:

…. Secondly, we are also seeking early views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024, and nationally. This includes whether we should amend our national noise policy to include specific policy for night noise, revising our night flight dispensation guidance, whether we should set criteria for airport designation, and what any future night flight regime at the designated airports should look like. This second section has been extended in a separate consultation, running from 4 March to 31 May 2021, all responses received will be treated equally to those of the new consultation.

We would aim to publish stage 2 of this consultation in 2022 which will set out firm proposals for the designated airports beyond 2024.

This process relates to the current designated airports in their current operational form and it does not consider any scenarios related to airport expansion proposals.

This consultation process will be of interest to communities that live near airports or underneath flightpaths, local authorities, airlines, airport operators, and businesses or consumers that depend on the aviation sector.

See

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy


See earlier:

DfT night flights consultation – deadline for first section is 3rd March (second section 31st May)

The DfT has a consultation currently, on night flights.  The consultation has two parts. First, by 3 March the DfT seeking views on its proposals to extend the current night flight restrictions, set in 2017, for an additional two years from October 2022, and to ban the noisiest category of aircraft from operating in the night from October 2022 (this is only relevant for the few airports at which these planes are permitted). Then second, by 31st May it is seeking wider views on its national night flight policy and the structure of night flight restrictions beyond 2024.  Groups concerned about aircraft noise are very much opposed to the DfT’s proposal to extend current night flight restrictions for an additional 2 years, as it is widely acknowledged that plane noise at night disturbs sleep thousands, and negatively affects their mental and physical health.  The government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any proper re-examination of the issues. There are claims of the economic benefits of night flights, and these need to be re-assessed. With falling business flights, one frequent justification is to increase the number of daily “rotations” by low-cost airlines, keeping their fare prices low.

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