Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victory for Residents over Night Flights Cap

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victory for Residents over Night Flights Cap

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS LYDALL

PLANS to remove the cap on night flights at London's three main airports have been scrapped.

The Government was forced to back down after two defeats in the House of Lords, bringing relief to thousands of residents around Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

The Government had wanted to change the rules to move away from a maximum number of flights - Heathrow is currently limited to 16 between 11.30pm and 6am - to one based on noise levels.

Campaigners feared a fourfold increase in the number of flights under a noise quota system because modern planes are meant to be quieter. But research by Wandsworth council found the level of noise from planes using Heathrow between 2000 and last year had actually increased.

Transport minister Gillian Merron revealed the U-turn in a letter to Chris Grayling, the shadow transport secretary. Ms Merron accepts "this is not the right time to make this legislative change".

Lord Hanningfield, the Tory transport spokesman in the House of Lords, said: "This is a victory for all of those that have been campaigning for the right to have a decent night's sleep. …

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