Press Release


12 January 2017


For immediate use


5 More Years of Broken Sleep!


In a consultation document released today by the Department for Transport, the Government is proposing no change to the current night flights regime around Heathrow Airport, leaving residents with another 5 years of broken sleep (1). The consultation runs until 28 February 2017 and will then be reviewed by the Department for Transport. Local campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion, which represents the communities around Heathrow, is not surprised by the proposed lack of change.


Jackie Clark-Basten, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is clear from this consultation that the Government would rather not upset residents further by making changes to the night flight regime while they are already under threat from a further 260,000 flights per year if a third runway goes ahead. I encourage residents to respond to this consultation.”


Residents around the Heathrow villages remain disturbed by the noise of Heathrow’s operations during the night and the impact on their physical and mental health. Despite not being directly overflown, villages such as Harlington and nearby Harmondsworth, which faces demolition with the threat of the third runway, have the additional pressure of being subject to 5 more years of broken sleep. The World Health Organisation recommends 8 hours sleep per night (3), while physical and mental health impacts such as hypertension and depression have been linked to scheduled and unscheduled night flights (4).


Armelle Thomas, Harmondsworth resident, said: “The Government have not promised to extend the night flight ban to the numbers of hours of sleep recommend by the World Health Organisation, which shows their continued disregard for our health and quality of life. The health impacts of night noise are something we should be aiming to tackle.”


Night flight regimes at designated airports, which include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, are subject to review every 5 years. At Heathrow, 16 flights are permitted to land at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6.00am, though hundreds of unscheduled flights permitted during this period, including many flights being permitted to take off well beyond midnight (2). The first scheduled landings take place from 4.30am. A further consultation focussed of the third runway at Heathrow will be launched later this month.


Health impacts of Heathrow expansion

* 3,750 homes to be made "unliveable" due to noise, pollution and health impact.

* more than half the proposed "additional business for Britain" will be absorbed in health costs due to bronchial problems, hypertension, depression, early death and slower learning in children, caused by noise, pollution and loss of sleep

* health impacts of a third runway at Heathrow have been estimated at £3.7bn




(1)    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/582863/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted.pdf

(2)    http://heathrowoperationaldata.com/daily-operational-data/

(3)    http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/114101/E84683.pdf

(4)    http://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/160704_NORAH_AEF.pdf



For more information: Rob Barnstone on 07806 947050 or robertbarnstone@outlook.com