Campaign takes off to ban night flights

PUBLISHED: 13:46 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 31 May 2010

A CAMPAIGN to get BAA to consider a ban on night flights will be launched next month. LibDem councillors and the policy makers at Uttlesford District Council are in discussions to try and get night flying cut at Stansted Airport. Cllr Martin Foley, who re

A CAMPAIGN to get BAA to consider a ban on night flights will be launched next month.

LibDem councillors and the policy makers at Uttlesford District Council are in discussions to try and get night flying cut at Stansted Airport.

Cllr Martin Foley, who represents Thaxted, says not only are adults living in the vicinity of the airport being adversely affected by night flying, but children are also suffering in a bad way.

He said: "The LibDems are in discussions with different groups and the Uttlesford District Council policy makers about launching a campaign to ban night flights at Stansted Airport."

"Children today are often portrayed in a negative way, but night flights are affecting them dramatically and causing them to do less well at school," he said.

Cllr Foley believes a ban on night flights would show BAA cares for and listens to the local community.

"Night flights really are costing the earth, and if BAA really wants to be a good neighbour, it should address the issue now," he said.

"A complete ban is not impossible as Sydney Airport in Australia operates just such a thing."

Sydney Airport has a curfew in place which sees no aircraft movements between 11pm and 6am, with fines of up to $550,000 imposed on companies who fail to comply.

Cllr Foley added: "There is a growing evidence that aeroplanes are a major source of damage."

Stansted Airport has an average of 30 night flights which are allowed to make a maximum of 87 decibels when taking off.

Government figures show people become affected by aircraft noise at 57 decibels over a 16-hour period.

A spokesman for BAA said: "Night flying is heavily regulated and monitored by the Government and is vital for the UK economy as they often carry post, pharmaceuticals and other cargo.

"We are in the process of setting up a noise level monitoring system in Thaxted which will run for a three month period and an independent report will be published with its findings."

Pupils at Thaxted Primary School raised the issue of night flying when Cllr Foley visited the school with Thaxted representative Cllr Antoinette Wattebot as part of Local Democracy Week.

"Night time flights to and from Stansted proved a hot potato," Cllr Foley said.

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