Under the new regime that will be in operation until October 2012, the number of movements permitted at all three airports will not increase above the levels permitted at present, whist the quota count will actually reduce reflecting the scope for introduction of quieter aircraft during the next six years.
'I consider that for each airport the decision strikes the appropriate balance between the need to protect local communities from excessive noise and the benefits that services can bring to the national, regional and local economy.'
The new night restrictions regimes will continue to recognise both an eight hour 'night period' (2300-0700 hours), and a six and a half hour 'night quota period', (2330-0600 hours) during which the appropriate restrictions will apply. For example, during the whole of the night period, the noisiest types of aircraft may not be scheduled to land or take off and they are effectively banned from doing so (other than in exceptional circumstances) in the night quota period.
The decision on the new restrictions takes into account all of the responses that were received during an extensive consultation carried out over two stages during 2004 and 2005.
A copy of the full written statement is attached.
1. Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are the designated airports where noise is regulated by the Secretary of State under s.78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. The night restrictions form part of a range of controls applied under this section.
2. While different arrangements apply at other airports, the form of the designated airports' controls might help with the consideration of revisions to the night flight regime elsewhere. Night flying restrictions at other airports are at the discretion of the airport operator, dependent on any local agreement (or planning conditions).
3. Night flights are subject to two controls: a limit on the number of movements (take-offs and landings)and a noise quota. The movements limit applies to aircraft movements between 11.30pm and 6am in each winter and summer scheduling season, these being demarcated by the dates when the clocks go back and forward. The movements limits are supported by noise quota, which are based on the comparative noisiness of each type of aircraft as determined through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) certification system.
4. The movements limits and noise quotas to apply at each airport from October 2006 are as follows:
05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12
Movements 2550 2550 2550 2550 2550 2550 2550
Noise 4140 4140 4140 4110 4110 4110 4080
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Movements 3250 3250 3250 3250 3250 3250 3250
Noise 5610 5610 5460 5460 5340 5220 5100
05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 Movements 5200 3250 3250 3250 3250 3250 3250 limit
Noise 6640 2300 2240 2180 2120 2060 2000
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Movements 11200 11200 11200 11200 11200 11200 11200 limit
Noise 9000 6700 6600 6500 6400 6300 6200
05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 Movements 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 limit
Noise 3550 3510 3470 3430 3390 3350 3310
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Movements 7000 7000 7000 7000 7000 7000 7000 limit
Noise 4950 4900 4850 4800 4750 4700 4650
5. The announcement follows the decision in June 2005 to continue the existing night restrictions regime until 29 October 2006. During the remaining period of that extension the hours of the restrictions, the system for classifying aircraft, and other aspects of the regime remain unchanged.
6. The new night restrictions regime for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted recognises both a night period, 2300-0700 hours, and a night quota period, 2330-0600 hours. During the whole of the night period, the noisiest types of aircraft may not be scheduled to land or take off and they are effectively banned from doing so (other than in exceptional circumstances) in the night quota period. The next noisiest types (QC/4) may also no longer be scheduled to operate in the night quota period. In addition, during the night quota period movements by most other types of aircraft (including the new QC/0.25 category) will be restricted by a movements limit and a noise quota, which are set for each season. The seasons change with the clocks.
7. The decision documents, the stage 1 and stage 2 consultation papers and a summary of responses to both stages of the consultation are available on the department's website.