Department for Transport: Night flights consultation
The DfT has published Stage one of the night flights consultation which will inform the development of the next night noise regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports from October 2014.
ABTA has long taken the line that airlines need to operate at night to maximize the usage of their aircraft. The real effect of more restrictions on night flights would inevitably be higher air fares and holiday costs for the consumer.
This first stage consultation seeks views and evidence on a range of issues including the effectiveness of the current regime, the costs and benefits of future options and airlines’ fleet replacement plans. Additionally this consultation includes a review of current evidence on the costs of night flights, particularly noise, and the benefits of these flights. It sets out the Government’s thinking on how it would expect to appraise the policy options for the next night flights regime and seeks views on its approach.
The DfT has also stated that as a first step to setting the next night flights regime, it is using this consultation to gather evidence to inform both the development of options for the next regime and the work of the Airports Commission.
At this stage the Government has taken no decisions on its preferences for the next regime. Specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights, will be included in a second stage consultation which will be published later this year. The DfT will announce the new regime by spring 2014.