11:20AM, Thursday 12 January 2017
New measures aimed at reducing the noise from night flights at Heathrow Airport have been announced by the Government.
They aim to help encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit the number of people affected by noise at night, while ‘maintaining benefits to passengers and the economy of night flights’.
Current night flight restrictions expire in October 2017 and the new rules, which will also apply to Gatwick and Stansted airports, will last until 2022.
Each aircraft is set a value between 0-16 depending on how loud it is during take-off and landing. The measures will reduce the total noise quota allowed, encouraging the industry to use quieter planes.
The rules are out for public consultation today (Thursday) and include reducing the total noise quota at Heathrow by at least 43 per cent in the winter, and 50 per cent in the summer.
A ‘strict cap’ will also be set at existing levels for the number of night flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.
Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said: “This Government is committed to tackling the issue of aircraft noise, especially flights at night, which can be a blight for people living near airports.
“Night flights are, however, important to the economy, creating extra choice for passengers and moving freight, and we need to carefully balance the needs of local communities with the benefits these flights can bring.
“That’s why we are encouraging the use of quieter aircraft by bringing in tighter noise quotas at the airports and setting strict caps on aircraft movements at night.”
The consultation will run until Tuesday, February 28, after which responses will be reviewed and a final decision will be published.
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