Hounslow challenge Emirates on night flights

LB Hounslow has asked Emirates to provide more evidence for its recent claim that quieter jets could help expand Heathrow capacity through increased night time operation.

The council says it has written to Emirates to ask for evidence that its fleet of A380s should be given permission to fly in and out of Heathrow Airport between 1am and 4am. Emirates had said its fleet of technologically advanced planes will make less noise because they land at a steeper angle and part-way up the runway, and that this should mean they could land at night. Adding flights during current quiet night time hours is one of the few options to expand capacity without further runway building at the UK’s busiest airport.

The current restrictions on night flights allow a limited number of flights between 11.30am and 6am. BAA would have to gain planning permission to implement any change.

The night flying restrictions set by the government are consulted on and reviewed, every five years. The current restrictions on night flights run until 2014.

Rob Gibson, head of environmental strategy at the council, has written to Emirates to ask the company to defend the claims made in the Financial Times on April 9, 2012.

Rob Gibson said: “Emirates needs to provide the hard evidence to support their claims, specifically around the safety of their proposal and noise reduction.

“We need to see their evidence and evaluate it, not least to make sure that the new operating practices would be safe. We have written to Emirates to ask if they have had any discussions with Airbus, who build the A380, and also BAA who run Heathrow about the viability of their plans.”

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