Plane landing at Heathrow airport

Putney MP claims Heathrow is ‘pushing the rules’ on early morning flights

Following calls from Putney MP Fleur Anderson the Government has agreed to launch an investigation into early morning flights at Heathrow Airport.

Kevin Foster, a transport minister, has agreed to investigate the increasing number of early morning flights after Anderson raised her constituent’s concerns in Parliament.

The Labour MP said her constituents were suffering from flights taking off and landing at England’s largest airport from as early as 4am. 

Anderson said: “Local residents have shared stories of being regularly woken up in the small hours of the morning by planes flying into Heathrow.  

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Heathrow is pushing the rules on night flights as far as it can.”

One resident living under the flight path said on a recent night a flight took off as early as 4am, with the usual torrent or air traffic noise continuous from before 6am. 

Heathrow’s ‘night flight’ quota is defined by the Government as between 11:30pm and 6am, with an average of 16 flights allowed per night.

Anderson said that based on stories from her constituents, she believes the flight quota is being exceeded.

The politician added: “It’s clear that special dispensation for late running flights is being given on a near-daily basis.

“This is just unacceptable.”

SUNS UP WHEELS UP: Residents near Heathrow have raised concerns about early morning flights. Credit: Panhard under CC BY-SA 3.0

Anderson said she hopes both the Government and Heathrow Airport will treat the issue seriously, considering the effects the flights are having on local residents

She explained: “It only takes one flight to wake you up.

“Sleep deprivation can cause huge suffering and impact mental and physical wellbeing.

“My constituents need assurance that Heathrow will follow the regulations that they’re bound by and put an end to their unnecessary suffering.”

The Government has powers under Section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act to ensure airports observe flight restrictions by requesting noise reports and issuing fines. 

Foster is expected to publish the data on the number of early flight dispensations, the reasons for these flights and if the quota is being exceeded.

Featured image credit: Steve Daniels under CC BY-SA 2.0

Related Articles