Monday, February 07, 2011

HACAN PRESS RELEASE: Deluge of complaints on night flights

Campaign group HACAN has been deluged by complaints about night flights following the publication of its report two weeks ago (1). The group has today released a digest of some of the emails they received from people outlining how they are disturbed by night flights (2). The emails came from as far afield as Greenwich and North East London.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “We have been inundated by emails and phone calls since we published our report on night flights. Of course not everybody is woken up by night flights, but for those people who are, there is no escape from the noise. For them, night flights gave become a regular nightmare. The first plane coming over at 4.30 am is their alarm clock.”

HACAN is calling on the Government to ban flights before 6am. The current agreement with the airlines runs out in October 2012 (3).

Last month’s report published by HACAN showed that a ban would be likely to save the country money. The report, from the respected Dutch economists CE Delft, found that a ban on night flights before 6am could benefit the national economy by as much as £860 million over a 10 year period. The big savings would be in the monetary costs associated with sleep deprivation. Because of the huge number of people living under the Heathrow night flight path, these savings could be expected to outweigh any loss of income to the aviation industry.


Notes for Editors:

1. The report, which looked at the economic impact of a ban on night flights at Heathrow, was launched in the House of Commons at a meeting hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP on 27th February. The report is on the HACAN website:

2. The digest is attached.

3. Every 5/6 years the Department for Transport enters into an agreement with the airlines using the country’s three ‘designated’ airports – Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick – on the number of flights permitted during the ‘night quota’ period (from 11.30pm – 6am). At present at Heathrow 16 flights are allowed (averaged over the year). They are all landings. There are no scheduled departures, though some are allowed in emergency situations. The first landing aircraft arrives around 4.30 am. In the full night period (11pm – 7am) there are over 80 flights.

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; 07957385650

Press Release dated 7/2/11