Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, backed an amendment to the Civil Aviation Bill that would have kept powers to limit the number of night flights at London airports. He condemned the Government?s decision to whip its supporters to reject the amendment that had been inserted by the House of Lords. And he called for a fairer system which would apply the same limits on night flights at Luton airport as at the other London airports.
Commenting on the defeat of the Lord?s amendments, Peter said, “It is sad that this sensible amendment, that had cross party support, was defeated by the government whips. Up to now the government has had powers to limit both the number of night flights and the noise they make. Now they will no longer be able to limit the number of flights even though disturbance of sleep is affected as much by the number of flights as by the cumulative noise they make.?
“For those living near Luton airport the position is even worse. Unlike Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick – Luton airport is left to regulate night flights itself. As a result night flights at Luton now exceed even those at Heathrow. This makes it even more important to prevent the sort of massive expansion proposed by the operator at Luton and to insist that any planning inquiry uses its powers to set tight limits on night flights in future.