Independently Recorded Night Time Flights at LBA

 

It is the airport’s responsibility to report monthly statistics of night flights to the Council, including type of aircraft, plus the numbers of and reasons for delayed landings, as well as any emergency departures and landings. Full flight data available on request.

 

It is the Council’s job to enforce the operating conditions - namely the 2,800 cap on flights during the Summer Season. LBA also reports night flight data in quarterly meetings of the Airport Consultative Committee.

So it came as quite a surprise when we discovered that there is a significant difference between what LBA reports to the Airport Consultative Committee and Leeds City Council, and our recorded live flight data.

Month
GALBA count
LBA count
Delta
October
477
TBA
September
552
TBA
August
609
488
121
July
593
513
80
June
570
478
92
May
465
385
80
April
270*
0
270
Total for Summer 2022
3,536
<2,920
616

*our recording started on 20 April 2022 so we have taken LBA’s declared figure of 270 for the month. LBA wrongly included April in Winter 21/22 figures.

It’s impossible to explain where the extra flights in GALBA’s recorded data have gone. Every flight in the files we have provided can be verified on independent flight tracking websites such as FlightRadar24.

 

LBA have used three reasons why they don’t need to count all night flights towards their limit. However, a simple reading of the conditions shows each of these excuses to be without any foundation. But if LBA makes all of these adjustments, they still don’t account for all the missing flights in their data:

 

  1. LBA say: flights with a noise level below QC0.5 don’t count. This is not true and is debunked here. In any case, this would only account for a handful of night flights per year (<10).

  2. LBA say: delayed flights up to 01:00 hours don’t count. This is not true and is debunked here. In any case, the total number of delayed flights of this nature is 168 for Summer 2022 so does not account for the recorded difference.

  3. LBA say: the Summer Season starts in May. This is not true. The current planning conditions (1a) clearly state: “Summer Season is defined as the period of British Summer Time in any one year as fixed by or under the Summer Time Act” which runs from the last weekend in March to the last weekend in October. So April must be included in the Summer Season.

 

To explain the difference, we urge LBA to publish their full data for night time flights rather than just the totals. Perhaps then the public can see which flights did not take place (according to LBA) despite being trackable on freely accessible websites.