New report calls for ban on Heathrow night flights
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A new study revealed in the House of Commons this week points to the financial benefits of banning the controversial night flights at Heathrow Airport.
The independent inquiry was conducted by research organisation CE Delft at the request of Heathrow campaigners HACAN Clearskies and demonstrates that ending the dreaded night flight schedule would not be as economically catastrophic as previously thought.
The dreaded Heathrow night flights
Anyone living under the Heathrow flight path will be no stranger to the sound of flights taking off and landing in the wee small hours with an estimated 16 flights taking place between 11.30pm and 6am each night. Campaigners have long called for an end to this practice, citing that it is detrimental to human health and reduces productivity during daytime hours among local people.
The report's findings
The latest report examined three possible alternatives to the current night flight arrangement at Heathrow, including a total ban - with fascinating findings. Contrary to the belief of successive governments and airport operators BAA, ending the night flights in the right way could actually lead to socio-economic savings of over £800k.
The three scenarios looked at in the report are listed below:
All night flights moved to daylight hours. This would cost an estimated £250m to implement, but ultimately produced £821m in savings
All night flights moved to daylight hours, but with flight transfers relocated to another site (i.e. only flight ending at Heathrow allowed in). Implementation costs - £28 million. Ultimate savings £884 million
Night flights banned outright and no rescheduling put in place. £898 million to implement, and this would produce a multi-million loss.
A new round of British Government airport night flight consultations will be carried out before the end of 2011 and in the meantime BAA have pledged not to add any further flights to the current schedule.
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