News Updates

Leeds City Council fails to decide on night flights breach

March 09 2024 • 3 minute read

Last October, GALBA reported the airport to the council for breaking the night flight rules. The Summer 2024 season is about to start and there is no sign of a decision by the council.

Campaigners against the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport, and people living under the flightpath, have expressed their frustration and anger at Leeds City Council for their failure to stop the airport breaking night time flying rules.

In October 2023, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) made a complaint about LBA breaking the night flight rules, by exceeding the limit on the number of flights allowed, in the 2023 summer season. The 2024 summer season starts at the end of March and there is still no sign of a decision being made by the Council.

Ian Coatman, GALBA’s Secretary, said: “In 2022, we caught the airport breaking the rules that limit the number of night flights allowed in the summer season and reported this to Leeds City Council. The Council agreed and issued a ‘breach of condition’ enforcement notice against LBA, warning that if the airport did it again, they could face criminal prosecution.”

“We carried out exactly the same monitoring for the 2023 summer season and, again, found that LBA had broken the rules. We made a formal complaint to the Council on 30 October 2023 and we’re still waiting for a decision. The 2024 summer season starts at the end of March and it doesn’t look like there will be a decision before then.”

“Every extra night flight is bad for local people and bad for the climate. Leeds City Council should act now to stop LBA breaking the rules for a third year running. But given today’s announcement that Leeds City Council will also not decide on LBA’s applications to allow more flights (known as CLEUDs) until July at the earliest, we are no closer to any action – in fact it’s getting further away.”

Andy Tait, who lives under the flightpath in Leeds, said: “The rules exist for a very good reason: to protect public health. Jet fuel releases tiny particles that pollute the air we breathe and cause lung problems. These particles can be found miles away from the airport, as well as under the flightpath.”

“And the noise from night time flying has well established links to health problems like heart disease and poor mental health. Leeds City Council should stop dilly-dallying and make protecting the health of its citizens a top priority.”

Andy added: “When LBA broke the rules in 2022, the Council said it had set up a better monitoring system to check whether LBA was sticking to the night flight rules. Those rules haven’t changed and LBA broke them again in 2023, so why on earth doesn’t the Council acknowledge what’s going on and take some action?”



"Every extra night flight is bad for local people and bad for the climate. Leeds City Council should act now to stop LBA breaking the rules for a third year running."

Additional Notes:

Night flight breaches: LBA broke the rules in the 2022 summer season and the Council issued a breach of condition notice against the airport in June 2023.

In 2023, GALBA used exactly the same monitoring process as for the summer season 2022.The night flight figures for summer 2023 are below. GALBA only monitors large, commercial passenger jet movements, so it is likely that LBA exceeded the limit by more flights than GALBA detected when smaller jet aircraft are taken into account.

2023 summer season flights

April 238

May 443

June 562

July 610

August 606

September 534

October 400

Total 3,393

Allowance 2,920

Excess 473

Night flight rules: LBA operates under a cap on night time flights under its planning conditions. Leeds City Council has responsibility for monitoring and enforcing those conditions. They define the Summer Season as British Summer Time, which is 26 March to 29 October in 2023. The 2024 Summer Season starts on 31 March. The night time period is defined as 23.00 to 07.00 and an aircraft movement is defined as a landing or a departure.



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