Night flight ban could “save £860m”

HACAN Clear Skies have launched a campaign aimed at reducing Heathrow night flights with a report that suggests stopping them would help the economy.

It is widely thought that the night flights that currently use the airport make a net contribution to UK GDP. However, the HACAN report, authored by consultancy CAE Delft, claims a ban on night flights at Heathrow (between 2300 and 0600 GMT) could save the economy up to £860m a year in productivity lost through flightpath sleep deprivation.

John Stewart, Chair of Hacan, told the BBC: “We commissioned this report to test out the claims that a night flight ban would damage the economy.”

Night flights presently contribute around £35m to GDP through revenues earned from the passengers arriving and departing. The report suggests that all this revenue would transfer to other flights if the night-time ones were unavailable, and the increased productivity from workers living on the flightpath getting a better night’s sleep would hugely outweigh any money lost.

BAA told the BBC: “At the last night flights’ consultation in 2006 we did not seek any increase in flights during the night period and our position has not changed since then. We look forward to participating fully in the next Government consultation.”

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