Heathrow to ban night flights to mitigate environmental impacts of third runway

Heathrow Airport has announced it will ban night flights and take action against noise and pollution if it is allowed to build a new third runway. That’s part of some […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Heathrow Airport has announced it will ban night flights and take action against noise and pollution if it is allowed to build a new third runway.

That’s part of some of the promises made to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The airport said it will scrap scheduled flights for six and a half hours between 23:00 and 5:30.

It has also committed to give the Environment Agency the role of an independent aviation air quality authority to provide transparent scrutiny of the measures the airport will introduce to enable it to expand in accordance with air quality rules.

The announcement follows an inquiry from the Environmental Audit Committee which said the government shouldn’t give the final expansion approval until the airport proves it will comply with environmental rules.

Climate change activists protested against the expansion project at the airport last year.

Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said in a letter sent to the PM: “We have acted now to let you and your government make the right choice in the long term interest of our country. It will enable you to choose Heathrow and secure a stronger economy and Britain’s place in the world.

“Expanding Heathrow can help Britain win thousands more jobs and ensure that future generations have the same economic opportunity that we have enjoyed.”

The Environmental Audit Committee said the proposals to tackle air pollution “need to go much further, much faster”.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the EAC added: “Promises on future rail links and air pollution charges are seven to 10 years away. People living near the airport need action on air quality much sooner and one quick win would be slashing fares on Heathrow express to encourage more people to use it.”

“Whatever the government decides on airport expansion, it needs a strategy for reducing carbon emissions from aviation. We will scrutinise the government’s plans to limit the noise, air quality and climate change impacts of a third runway carefully.”