The UK Department for Transport has issued a statement that says that a government consultation will begin soon regarding night time noise objectives on the busiest of UK airports.
The reason behind this consultation is effectively a review on the measures in place to ensure the negative impacts are not outweighing the positives.
It is likely that the measures currently in place through the governments night time policies, are working effectively.
One way this can be seen is through aircraft becoming generally quieter and more technologically advanced, which is a factor the government recognises. Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton, outlined this in a comment made saying:
“There’s no doubt night flights have an effect on local residents underneath busy flightpaths, but as aircraft become quieter, we have an opportunity to strike a balance to make sure we can support the aviation industry without having a debilitating impact on peoples lives”.
She then went on to say “this consultation will help us shape policy and create a flight path towards a more sustainable approach to night time aviation noise”.
Consultation to go on for 6 weeks
The planned consultation is set to go on for 6 weeks and will seek views and opinions from the industry and local communities.
The government also realises that night flights are an important part of airport operations, as it keeps people and cargo flowing and raises the economic benefit to the UK as well supporting a large amount of jobs.
Any objectives or aims that will come as a result of the consultation will be put forward and implementing at London’s 3 busiest airports from October 2025.
Government’s revised aviation noise policy released
As well as the statement published for the consultation, the UK government has also released its revised overarching aviation noise policy.
The idea behind the policy is reaffirming the importance of noise policy for the entire aviation sector, regardless of the time of flight and whether its day or night.
The policy also aims to balance the health and wellbeing of communities alongside the clear economic and consumer benefits of aviation.
The policy will also look at something of particular interest in regards to events occurring last summer 2022. This will be the guidance that is used to allow dispensation for operators to fly night flights.
The reason for this is because of a rather large knock on effect, which put simply is a large number of flights that operated last summer ended up being increasingly late due to lack of staff at airports.
This rise in night flight dispensations is a stark increase over previous years 2020 and 2021, however should correct preparation for this summer season be implemented, the level of dispensations seen in 2022 shouldn’t repeat itself.
With this taken into account, the Department for Transport has said it will still be collecting more information on these dispensations before it releases its updated dispensation guide at the end of 2023.