Night Flight Ban Good for Economy

As well as for people wanting a good night's sleep

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A major report launched in the House of Commons on 27th January at a meeting hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP shows that a ban on night flights at Heathrow before 6am could be expected to have overall benefits for the wider economy.

The new report, commissioned by HACAN from the respected Dutch economists CE Delft, has found that a night flight ban before 6am could benefit the national economy by as much as £860 million over a 10 year period.. The big savings would be in the monetary costs associated with sleep deprivation.

Because of the huge number of people living under the Heathrow night flight path, these savings could be expected to outweigh any loss of income to the aviation industry.

CE Delft argues that the national economy would only be harmed if none of the passengers who currently arrive on the flights before 6am failed to transfer to flights arriving at other times. If that were to take place, the national economy could lose up to £35 million over a 10 year period, but the report states that the chances of that happening are “highly unlikely”.

John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said, “We commissioned this report to test out the claims that a night flight ban would damage the economy. Its dramatic findings destroy the last remaining argument for night flights”.

The launch of the report marks the start of a campaign by HACAN to get a ban on night flights between 11pm and 6am when the new night flight regime is introduced in 2012. Later this year the Government is expected to consult on a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The current agreement with the airlines comes to an end in October 2012.

Read the full report

Mary Macleod MP for Brentford and Isleworth said: “I welcome the publication of this report which has taken a scientific approach to defining and analysing the full impact of a ban on night flights.  It has shown that a night flight ban could actually benefit the wider economy.

This report is timely as later this year the Government will embark on a consultation on night flying at Heathrow airport for the period from 2012-2017 and I look forward to discussing these findings with the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, the Minister for Aviation at the Department of Transport.”




February 4, 2011