Airport locals win three-year extension to night flight ban into Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted

Restrictions on night flights into Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted were today extended until October 2017.

The restrictions were due to expire next year but aviation minister Robert Goodwill said there would be a three-year extension after a consultation.

The announcement leaves the review by Sir Howard Davies into the aviation crisis to come up with a long-term plan for the future of night flights.

The Government also plans to extend the ban to the noisiest aircraft, usually older planes, which are blamed for the worst disturbances for residents.

“As noise impacts are a key consideration for the commission, we agree that it would not be sensible to make any significant changes to the current regime before the commission has completed its work and the Government has had time to consider its recommendations,” said Mr Goodwill.

The gap between Sir Howard’s report on the future of aviation — which is due in summer 2015 — and the noise ban’s new expiration date is a signal that the Government does not want to be rushed into decisions.

A rival to Heathrow today claimed its plan for two extra runways west of the airport could cut aircraft noise for thousands of Londoners. Heathrow Hub, an independent project that has sent plans to the Davies Commission, launched an advertising campaign to promote its claim that it could deliver “a quieter Heathrow”. Captain William “Jock” Lowe, who was the longest serving Concorde pilot and is a promoter of the scheme, said: “Expansion at Heathrow is vital for the economy.”

Meanwhile, Heathrow is offering to install “adobe” buildings made from long tubes of soil at 21 London schools to reduce the impact of noise on outdoor lessons. The dome-shaped buildings were developed by Nasa for habitation on the Moon or Mars.

Kathryn Harper-Quinn, head teacher of Hounslow Heath Infant School, said: “We are delighted with the impact our wonderful adobe buildings have had on our teaching. Children and staff can all enjoy and benefit from carefully planned experiences outdoors.”

The Evening Standard