Night flight noise crackdown at Stansted Airport from government

PUBLISHED: 13:17 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:45 13 July 2017

An airplane on the runway at Stansted Airport. Stock image. Picture: MARK DAVISON/MAG

An airplane on the runway at Stansted Airport. Stock image. Picture: MARK DAVISON/MAG

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Noisy night flights from Stansted Airport will be tackled in a new crackdown, a government minister has pledged.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has outlined a series of measures to reduce noise at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

These include new quotes on the number of flights.

Mr Grayling said in a written statement to Parliament: “I am fully aware noise is a major concern for those living near these airports, and that night noise is widely regarded as the most disturbing impact of aviation.

“While advances in new technology mean aircraft are generally getting quieter, the limits governing night noise at these airports has not kept pace with these developments.

“The new rules we are publishing today will encourage the use of quieter aircraft at all three airports by reducing the amount of noise these airports are legally allowed to make, and will give local residents a five-year guarantee about the level of noise that they will be exposed to.

“This decision strikes a balance between managing the impacts on local communities by locking in the benefits offered by recent technological developments, with the economic benefits of night flights.”

Mr Grayling also pledged to do more to incentivise the industry to invest in quieter aircraft.

Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion, said he needed to look at the proposals in detail.

However he added that the “over-riding wish” of the campaign group was to see a “progressive, overall reduction of night flights”.

“The flights are very noisy, especially at night and in that area where we enjoy quiet ambient conditions at night,” he said.

The minister’s announcement comes after a consultation on measures for new flights, which was launched in January.

Mr Grayling also confirmed he expected a vote in Parliament on a new runway at Heathrow in the first half of next year.

A Stansted Airport spokesman said: “London Stansted plays a critical role in supporting economic growth and jobs both in the East of England and across the UK and we welcome the reassurance today’s statement provides for local communities around our airport.

“Over several years, Stansted has worked with our airline partners to significantly reduce the effects of noise through with the introduction of the latest generation of greener, quieter, more efficient aircraft. The aviation sector continues to invest billions of pounds in research and development to ensure advancements in technology minimise aircraft noise even further.

“Night flights remain vital in the movement of time sensitive cargo including pharmaceuticals and perishable goods, while passenger airline schedules rely on early morning and late evening flights in order to keep airfares as low as possible.”

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