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Proposed ban on night flights at Heathrow not right move

  09.05.2018    

A proposal by the Airports Commission to impose a six and a half hour total ban on flights at London Heathrow airport has met with warnings from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that such a move would negatively impact the air cargo sector that increasingly relies on overnight delivery.
Currently overnight flights are permitted but subject to a strict quota managed by the Department for Transport. The airport is restricted to 5,800 take-offs and landings a year between 11:30pm and 6am compared to its 1,300 daily scheduled flights, reported The Telegraph of UK.
"Just-in-time manufacturing processes, lack of consumer patience to wait for goods, and time and temperature sensitive shipments such as pharmaceuticals and fresh produce, mean air cargo is a crucial link in the transport chain," IATA said. "Late night departures are important for UK business, facilitating these vital cargo exports."
IATA's director-general Alexandre de Juniac said a ban would create an "enormous restraint" on passenger and cargo flights. "When you make projections into the future, you see that restricting the number of arrival and departure hours will be a significant restraint on long-haul destinations such as Asia," he said.
"This is bad because traffic will only increase from Asia and the relationship between Heathrow and Asia should be increasing significantly." Mr de Juniac said he appreciated local communities would be concerned about noise and pollution but that Heathrow was already well behind its rivals in Europe and risked falling further back if a total night ban was implemented.
"Heathrow is already at a competitive disadvantage compared to key hub airports in Europe in terms of aircraft movements in this time period," Mr de Juniac said.
"Heathrow has 42 arrivals and no departures and has fewer flights than Amsterdam, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Munich or Frankfurt. Madrid has an incredible ten times the number of flights."
Mr de Juniac added that with a third runway, night flights could be rotated between runways to reduce the impact on nearby communities.



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