Debate over London night flights intensifies

Pressure groups have called on London businesses to get involved with the ongoing night flights debate, bbc.co.uk reports.

The issue over sustaining night flights into London’s airports has intensified in recent days, with campaigners calling for them to be halted in a bid to reduce noise and pollution over the city. Businesses and economists, meanwhile, have claimed the flights are vital to the local economy and therefore must be protected.

Pressure groups, including the London Assembly Health and Environment Committee, have called for a limit to be placed on the number of night flights permitted to take of and land at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Cutting such flights back to an “absolute minimum”, they say, will reduce sleep disturbances for those in the flight path. They also asked businesses to justify the continued use of night flights.

Business leaders have hit back, however, with the likes of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) adding weight to their argument. They claimed that night flights do not only play a key role in London’s economy, but also prove useful for businesses; allowing their staff to reach their destination with the whole day’s ahead of them at the capital’s event spaces.

In its argument, the CBI told london24.com: “The current night flights regime in London is working well, incentivising aerospace manufacturers and service providers to invest in quieter aircraft, which are helping to diminish the impact of necessary night flights on local communities around airports.

“The government should maintain the existing regime, while leaving sufficient headroom in forecasting to avoid hindering economic recovery as the UK returns to growth in the coming years.”