Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, asked the Aviation Minister how she could justify allowing Luton Council to regulate night flights at Luton Airport given that the council gets a royalty for every flight, and all other London airports are regulated by central government.
Peter Lilley joined Stevenage MP, Barbara Follett, in putting Ministers on the sport on this issue on the 8th November. The Minister replied that it would be up to the planning authority to determine whether it wishes to impose controls on the number of night flights when Luton Airport submits its ?master plan?.
Peter Lilley said: “This ignores the point that it is unacceptable that the regulator ? the local council ? has a vested interest in more flights.?
Note to editors:
Extract from Hansard for the 8th November below:
Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Can the Minister justify allowing the Luton local authority to regulate night flights at Luton airport, given that it owns the airport‘s freehold and gets a bonus for every flight in and out? The noise difficulties, however, are suffered by my constituents in Hitchin and Harpenden and by the constituents of the hon. Member for Stevenage (Barbara Follett). Surely Luton cannot claim to be a London airport when it is regulated in a different way from all London‘s other airports.
Ms Buck: We have made the matter absolutely clear. It is not simply a question of the number of flights, but whether airports are failing to implement the measures available to them. We have no reason to believe that that is happening. Luton airport has published its master plan and, when a planning application is submitted, it will be for the planning authority to determine whether it wishes to impose controls on the numbers of flights. The measures available to local authorities, and the powers that are clarified and strengthened in the Civil Aviation Bill?
Ms Buck: The powers are clarified and strengthened by the Bill, and will be sufficient to ensure that airports continue to bear down on noise. It is worth remembering
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that the area affected by noise as set out in Luton airport‘s policy in respect of jets flying at night has remained consistent since 1994.