Chelsea and Fulham MP and chief secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands, has urged transport chiefs to ban all night flights at Heathrow airport, LondonNewsOnline has reported.
Citing research from international health bodies, including the World Health Organisation and the British Medical Journal, regarding the damaging impact on people’s wellbeing of sustained sleep deprivation, the Conservative minister has called for a night-time flying ban between the hours of 11pm and 6am. He said that he was frequently woken up at night by noise from aircraft passing over west London, adding that people’s lives were being unfairly disrupted.
His concerns were laid out in a letter to Lord Ahmed, the parliamentary undersecretary of state for transport, in which he stated that there should be a ‘comprehensive’ ban on night flights at Heathrow. He reportedly added: ‘For the past 27 years I have lived beneath the Heathrow flight path and, like many hundreds of thousands of Londoners, I am frequently woken up by aircraft noise. These Londoners have jobs to do and families to look after, for which they require a good night’s sleep. Accordingly, not only are people losing sleep because of being disturbed by aircraft noise during the night, but their daily lives are being indirectly affected by it.’
Mr Hands said that banning night flights for a seven-hour period each day would ‘lessen the detrimental impact on hundreds of thousands of Londoners living beneath the flight path’. He cited the example of Frankfurt airport, Europe’s fourth busiest airport, which has banned night flights between 11pm and 5am since 2012.