Euro MPs could get vote on night flights

By James HoreEUROPEAN MPs could vote on banning night flights from Stansted airport under proposals being put forward by the Green Party. If given the go-ahead, the ban would force all European airports to halt all take-offs and landings between 7pm and 8am.

By James Hore

EUROPEAN MPs could vote on banning night flights from Stansted airport under proposals being put forward by the Green Party.

If given the go-ahead, the ban would force all European airports to halt all take-offs and landings between 7pm and 8am.

Flights at the Essex airport are currently restricted between 11.30pm and 6am.


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The changes have been proposed by southeast England's Green Party MEP, Caroline Lucas.

They came after MEPs were told in December that millions of EU citizens are unable to enjoy a good night's sleep because of their homes are blighted by the noise of planes.

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Dr Lucas said: "The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that everyone enjoys a human right to a good night's sleep.

"10 million EU citizens suffer from aircraft noise, which is the loudest during take-off and landing and particularly harmful during the night."

She added the Government's support for the aviation industry was leading to more runways and more noise - but sacrificing human rights and health on the 'altar of competitiveness'.

However, Stop Stansted Expansion campaigners said they were doubtful the initiative would be successful.

A spokesman said: "We welcome this initiative but frankly, on the basis of past experience, we would expect the UK to almost certainly seek to block it.

"The UK Government has a track record of putting 'planes before people' and considers the interests of the aviation industry to be more important than protecting the human rights - such as the right to a decent night's sleep - for those who live near an airport."

Last night, BAA Stansted said some of the night flights were critical deliveries and were vital to the country's economic prosperity.

A spokesman said they adhered to the Department for Transports' limits and would continue to do so until they were instructed differently.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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