Issue - meetings

Government consultation on night flights restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports beyond 2024, plus national night fights policy.

Meeting: 19/05/2021 - Stansted Airport Advisory Panel (Item 4)

4 Night Flights Consultation pdf icon PDF 342 KB

To consider Government consultation on night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports beyond 2024, plus national night flights policy.


Additional documents:


The Senior Planning Policy Officer suggested that this item be postponed until the next meeting as the deadline for the consultation had been extended by the Department for Transport to the 3 September 2021.   This was so that further evidence that was shortly to be published could be taken into account, including the CAA’s Survey of Noise Attitudes 2014: Aircraft Noise and Sleep report (“SoNA Sleep”).




The Chair suggested that the item was discussed so that Members could provide feedback on what had been published to date.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer presented the report and explained that Appendix A set out suggested responses and Appendix B gave an overview of how the existing night flights regime worked.


He particularly pointed out:-

  • The operation of the dispensations arrangements where certain flights in the Night Quota Period did not count against the quota count or movement limits.  He said there should be no dispensations when there was industrial action and when the daily rotation of aircrafts was pushed into the night time due to overrunning.
  • The benefits of a 10 years plus regime with a review half way through this period.
  • The operational details of the QC system and the recommendation to phase out the carry over and overrun arrangements as this did not give transparency to residents.
  • What would be included in the future night flights policy including: best in class aircraft; providing respite and minimising demand for night flights.
  • Support for the proposal to include night flights in the Government’s overall policy on aviation noise.


Councillor Dean asked for a seminar to be arranged before the revised report came back to the meeting to refresh the Panel on general aviation details and it was suggested that this included what the Panel’s role should be.


The Chair agreed that there should be more regular meetings of the Panel and suggested that the next STAAP meeting took place in August or September 2021. 


Councillor Caton was concerned that the report focused on noise, health, and the economy but had no environmental constraints on additional night flights. 


The Senior Planning Policy Officer said the forthcoming Net-Zero Aviation Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan would provide this opportunity and would be looked at separately.  The Department of Transport  had confirmed that these would be separate documents, but could not confirm which one would be published first. 


There was further discussion about the environmental impact of night flights and the Senior Planning Policy Officer suggested the inclusion of comments that cargo aircraft were generally more polluting and night flights added to the carbon footprint.




Councillor Pepper agreed to circulate information regarding the impact of aviation on the environment.  She had noticed that there were more flights after midnight and she was concerned that this would further increase post-Brexit as  overseas trade increased. 


The Director of Public Services said there had been growing use of the night time period for cargo but there were some restrictions.  Uttlesford District Council had previously made representations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4