Heathrow offers to curb night flights as it fights to build third runway

Heathrow Airport has promised to reduce the amount of night flights and curb noise and environmental pollution if it is allowed to build a new, third runway.

The pledges comes ahead of a government decision expected this summer on whether expand Heathrow of Gatwick. Last year, the Davies Commission recommended expanding Heathrow, but with strict environmental restrictions.

Gatwick, though, is still fighting, saying it remained the “only expansion plan that could ever deliver for the UK”.

Heathrow said it will allow a longer quiet period overnight, with flights not allowed to land at the airport between 11pm and 5:30am, from the current 11:30pm/4:30am period.

The offer differs from the recommendations from Sir Howard Davies’ commission, which wanted a ban on flights between 11:30pm and 6:00am.

The airport is promising to meet his calls for limits to noise and guarantees that local pollution would not get worse.

The airport has pledged to create an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025 and develop an emission charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.

Heathrow’s plans:

Heathrow’s plan involves building a new 3,500m runway about two miles north of the two already active runways at an estimated cost of £18.6 billion.

A picture of the project and the covered areas. Picture from the BBC.

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