AOA response to Government’s night flight consultation outcome

Commenting on the Government’s publication of the new night flights policy for Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted Airports, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) Karen Dee said:

“Night flights perform a vital economic role, moving time-sensitive cargo including pharmaceuticals and perishable goods. Airlines also rely on early morning and late evening flights to keep airfares low. These flights need to be operated sensitively, in cooperation with all stakeholders – including local communities. Airports have an important role to play in this: noise is a primary concern for communities and airports need to be good neighbours.

“Noise reduction is an industry priority. But industry’s extensive efforts – for example investing in ever quieter aircraft and use of innovative operating techniques to reduce noise – need to be backed up by a modernised approach to airspace management. We urge the Government to publish this as soon as possible.

“It is vital that the Government provides a clear and stable noise and night flights framework that takes into account local circumstances. While we welcome the fact that the introduction of the new noise quotas is deferred to allow airlines to adapt their schedules, more should be done to give long-term certainty. This will then underpin the industry’s investment in R&D as well as new aircraft and operating techniques.”