Campaign groups call for ban on Gatwick Airport night flights

Two campaign groups are calling for a ban on night flights from Gatwick Airport.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:45 pm

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) and Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) want to stop planes flying at night to reduce noise and health impacts in the area.

A spokesman for GACC said: “If night flights continue to be allowed, GACC argues they should be limited to those that are genuinely essential for economic reasons, not leisure flights, and that they should be far more strictly regulated.”

Chairman of GACC Peter Barclay added: “People’s health should be put ahead of cheap holidays and airline profits.”

Gatwick Airport. Pic Steve Robards SR2103061 SUS-210603-114205001

CAGNE said it is calling on residents in the area to respond to the Government’s night flight consultation, which ends on May 31.

A spokesman added: “It is well documented that night flights come with serious health risks as such they carry a cost to residents’ wellbeing and the NHS.”

A Gatwick Airport spokesman said the firm closelys monitor night flight operations and operates within the restrictions on night flying set by the Department for Transport.

He added: “We acknowledge that the issue of night time flying is a matter of concern for some local residents.

“We also know that many of our local community benefit from having Gatwick on their doorstep in terms of jobs, business growth and economic prosperity.

“A balance therefore needs to be struck between the economic benefits of night time flying and the needs of local people who are impacted by aircraft noise.”

Gatwick works hard with airline partners to maintain on time performance to prevent flights from operating at night due to delays, the spokesman said.

He added: “We also incentivise our airlines to operate the quietest fleet possible during the sensitive night period and continue to support the work of the Noise Management Board, an independent body which brings together local community representatives with industry partners to reduce aircraft noise.

“More broadly, the aircraft flown from Gatwick are increasingly modern with the newer types being introduced by our airlines significantly quieter than ones they replace, which has helped steadily reduce Gatwick’s noise footprint over recent years.”