21 JULY 2014
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It was a standard ministerial ‘no decision’ statement last Tuesday. In a parliamentary written statement Transport Minster Patrick McLoughlin said that no comment would be made on an Independent Aviation Noise Authority report until after the Airports Commission final recommendations were published next year.
In the paper the Government also said that a decision on “using the runway designated for departures and for a trial of early morning schedule smoothing at Heathrow” will be also be delayed until the report has been published.
The Government’s existing restrictions on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will be extended for a further three years until October 2017. The ban on rare movements made by “older noisier types of aircraft” will be extended. The Government has written to shortlisted scheme promoters about the issue of blight “outlining the Government’s expectations and asking them to actively involve and inform local communities”.
The Airport Operators Association (AOA) welcomed the statement but noted: “There is obviously much that the Government can do to support our sector between now and the publication of the Commission’s Final Report, from reducing APD across all bands, incentivising the take-up of sustainable aviation biofuels, to help aviation become ever more sustainable, and promoting a planning regime which enables all UK airports to grow.” www.aoa.org.uk www.dft.gov.uk
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