6th September 2005
Challenge aircraft night noise plans now before its too late
Noise from night flights at Stansted could worsen significantly if Government proposals to allow a 40 per cent increase in numbers are allowed to go unchallenged. The Government plans, which are intended to apply for the period 2006/7 to 2011/12, ignore promises in the recent Air Transport White Paper to ‘bear down’ on night noise from aircraft operations.
The warning comes from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) which is calling on local people to make their views known to the Department for Transport (DfT) before the consultation on night flight restrictions at Stansted comes to a close on 16 September.
SSE is also concerned to ensure that the Government takes on board the fact that ‘night must mean night’ when it comes to implementing future restrictions. In other words, the present 6.5 hour noise quota period, during which set limits apply, must be extended to the full 8 hour night period (2300-0700 hours).
“People living in the communities around Stansted Airport should not be forced to suffer loss of sleep,” said Chris Bennett, Chair of SSE’s noise working group. “The Government has signed the World Health Organisation (WHO) Charter on Transport, Environment and Health which pledges it to ‘strive to reduce night time sound levels to the WHO’s recommended levels’. We are a long way off these levels and yet the Government’s current proposals will make the night noise climate worse around Stansted.”
SSE is urging everyone who suffers disturbance from night flights to respond to the DfT consultation with even a simple response by email or short letter to demonstrate the extent of local opposition to increased night noise.
Detailed notes on responding to the consultation have already been sent by SSE to around 300 local community representatives and organisations in order to guide those wishing to make a more detailed response.
A sample email which can be tailored to individual circumstances, together with further information on the consultation, can be accessed on this website or from the SSE campaign office at 01279 870558. The address for postal responses is: Night Flights Restrictions Consultation, DfT, Aviation Environment Division 4, Zone 1/34, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1 4DR.
The full title of the consultation is Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports Stage 2 of Consultation on Restrictions to apply from 30 October 2005. It can be accessed on the DfT website at: www.aviation.dft.gov.uk