House of Lords oppose increase in Heathrow's night flights

As local Lib Dem pledges to lie in front of bulldozers to halt airport expansion

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Peers have voted against the proposal to scrap the a limit being set on the number of night flights at Heathrow airport.

A hearing of the Civil Aviation Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday 8th March 2006, in which the government proposes to delete the requirement for the Secretary of State to set a limit on the number of night flights at Heathrow, peers opposed the government's proposal to rely on a 'noise quota' to constrain night noise.

Nic Ferriday, spokesperson for West London Friends of the Earth, said "For those who are woken up or kept awake by night flights, a cap on the numbers of those flights is critical. The government's proposal to
remove any limit on the number of night flights is monstrous."

The use of only a 'noise quota' quota has been heavily criticised by residents, councillors and MPs alike. These criticisms were reiterated in the lobby at the House of Lords prior to the debate.

Nic Ferriday continued "The government pretends that a noise quota is sufficient to prevent increasing noise nuisance, while knowing it is not true. Its attempt in the Civil Aviation Bill to abolish any limit on the number of night flights, thereby allowing more sleep deprivation, is deeply cynical.

The week also saw a call for an end to Heathrow expansion from the Liberal Democrats.  Local Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson, Andrew Dakers, went as far as pledging to lie in front of the bulldozers if the government allowed the construction of a third runway to go ahead.

Andrew Dakers said “Heathrow is already the world's busiest international airport and the cost of further a third runway will be paid for by Hounslow residents, who will suffer a staggering decline in their quality of life.

“If the government allows a third runway to go ahead I will lie in front of the bulldozers. It is a moral outrage that the Labour would kowtow to big companies and subject Hounslow residents to more aircraft noise and more air pollution.”


March 9, 2006