7th June 2006

SSE responds to Government’s ‘Night Flying Restrictions’ proposals

The proposals for the new Night Flying Restrictions regime announced today by the Government are a scandalous betrayal of its promise in the Air Transport White Paper to bear down on aircraft night noise. Stansted is to be allowed 12,000 night flights a year between the hours of 11.30pm and 6am – compared to 8,500 last year – an increase of 40 percent.

In addition, during the very busy night periods between 11pm and 11.30pm and between 6am and 7am – during which time sleep disturbance by aircraft noise is at its worst – the number of night flights will continue to be completely unrestricted.

Worse still, in 2012, the Government intends to abolish all limits on the number of night flights at Stansted.

This all amounts to an outrageous decision by Government and flies directly in the face of the night noise guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation which recognise the importance of undisturbed sleep.

Once again, the Government is riding roughshod over local communities and pandering to the insatiable demands of the aviation industry. It has once again made a mockery of its entire consultation process by totally ignoring all representations made by the Stansted community and merely instituting the limits that it originally proposed. The Government should be thoroughly ashamed of its failure to enable local people to get a good night’s sleep.

Today’s decision by the Government will simply drive people to become even less tolerant of night flights and to argue for a total ban as already happens at many airports across Europe.

Perhaps we need to relocate Chequers or Dorneywood to beneath a Stansted flight path in order to get Government Ministers to understand just what local people around Stansted are expected to put up with.

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits