Response to the Government’s consultation on night flights at Heathrow

Date published: 
12 April 2013


The Assembly’s Health and Environment Committee has said Heathrow night flights should be stopped or reduced to an absolute minimum to reduce sleep disturbance for people living in the capital.

In its response to a Government consultation, the Committee said if flights cannot be stopped from landing at Heathrow at night, then at the very least, planes arriving overnight should approach from the west of London, when weather allows, to reduce the number flying over the capital at night.

Currently, more than 70 per cent come from the east due to a more favourable wind direction. The Committee said if planes landed from the opposite direction when weather conditions allow, only around 40 per cent would fly over the capital, making the split more equitable.

The changes would reduce noise disturbance for around 110,000 people in areas like Isleworth, Richmond and Hounslow, but increase it for 15,600 living to the west of the capital in parts of Windsor, Datchet and Stanwell Moor.

There are an average of around 15 flights landing each night at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am, most of which are flights from the Far East landing after 5am.

The Committee’s response is to Stage 1 of the Government’s consultation on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. A second consultation stage is expected later in 2013.