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AIRPORT TRYING TO DITCH NIGHT FLIGHT RULES... 

...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

 

 

Last year GALBA caught LBA blatantly ignoring the limits on night flights and causing misery to people living under the flight path. Now they are doing it again AND they’re also trying to change the rules so they can get away with it in future. 

 

Below is a full outline of what is happening. Details on how to make your voice heard are at the bottom of this page.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR RESPONSE TO LBA’s Q&A ABOUT THE LATEST PLANNING APPLICATION

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR EXPLAINER ABOUT LBA’s LATEST PLANNING APPLICATION

THE AIRPORT IS BREAKING THE NIGHT FLIGHT RULES

After GALBA’s investigation last summer, eventually LBA admitted to flying an incredible 750 flights in excess of the allowed limit on  night flights in the summertime. They were warned by the Council that if they didn’t stop, they could face criminal action.

 

LBA promised to abide by the rules - rules that are there to protect public health. But they haven’t. In fact, they’ve done it again! LBA have already broken the night flight limit for this summer and it’s only September. We’re going to make a formal complaint to Leeds City Council and ask them to prosecute LBA for failing to comply with the breach of condition notice issued in June this year.


SO WHAT ELSE ARE THEY DOING?

The airport bosses are now asking the Council to reinterpret those night flight rules. If they are allowed to get away with this, it would result in hundreds more planes flying at night from LBA.

WHY THIS MATTERS

 

Night flights are bad news for anyone living under or near the flight path.

The noise disturbance is a major cause of all kinds of serious health issues – both physical and mental. High blood pressure, strokes, heart conditions, depression are all directly linked to night flying.  And night-time emissions have a much bigger climate-warming effect than daytime emissions.

Airlines want to have the fewest number of aircraft possible but to be able to use these almost continuously – and that means flying round the clock.

They want to start as early as they can, and finish as late as they can. That’s why they want to fly without limits during the night. It’s about profit – profit before public health and the climate.

 

GOING THROUGH THE BACK DOOR

LBA has sent the Council five applications for Certificates of Lawful Existing Use or Development - CLEUD. LBA says they are simply seeking to ‘clarify’ the rules that apply to night flying. But in reality, they want to reinterpret the rules to allow many, many more planes to fly at night.

  • First, they want noisier, older planes to be allowed to take off at night

  • Second, they want some types of newer planes to be allowed to fly without being counted towards the cap on night flights

  • Third, they want all late arrivals up to 1am, of all types of planes, to be allowed to fly without being counted towards the cap on night flights.

 

That adds up to a hell of a lot more planes flying at night!

The process used for CLEUD applications is very different from normal planning applications. The Council has agreed to consult with the public but only on very limited ‘factual’ matters. And the decision will not be made by elected councillors, but by a Planning Officer. GALBA is taking legal advice about what people can contribute to the consultation but we are absolutely clear: we will not stand by and let LBA increase the number of night flights!

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please WRITE TO YOUR COUNCILLORS and YOUR MP to tell them what’s happening and how wrong it is.

Make sure they know how angry you are and how it could affect the way you vote next time.

You can find Leeds councillors here

You can find Bradford councillors here

Please also WRITE TO THE PAPERS - the addresses are below. Remember to head your email ‘letter for publication’ and include your full name, phone number and address.

DISINGENUOUS AND WASTING PUBLIC MONEY

As part of LBA’s 2020 planning application to expand its operations, a public inquiry was scheduled to take place in September 2022. If it had gone ahead it would have examined the night time flying rules on which LBA is now applying for a CLEUD.

The public inquiry would have allowed LBA to make representations, get clarifications and modernise the operating conditions at the airport, as suggested by LCC in the Planning Officer’s Report.

But LBA decided to withdraw its application shortly before the public inquiry.

It is disingenuous to apply for a CLEUD only a year later, claiming they want ‘clarification’.

And to add insult to injury, the night flight noise regime that they now propose would be far worse than was sought in the 2020 application to expand. It would be the worst that it has ever been at LBA and probably the most relaxed regulations in the country at a commercial airport.

This could be seen as a gross abuse of the planning system. The 2020 planning application was lengthy, complex, containing 1000s of pages of documents and incurring huge costs paid for by Leeds City Council tax payers (likely to be in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds).

LBA is now trying to gain immunity for the same issues, so that it can expand by the back door, when the original process was more appropriate for the material changes in question.

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