News Updates

LBA’s boss says it will break rules again this summer

April 10 2024

Campaigners were shocked to discover that LBA’s boss has said the airport plans to break the night flight rules again this summer - for the third year running. Vincent Hodder, LBA’s Chief Exec, made the statement at a recent Airport Consultative Committee meeting.

Mr Hodder has brazenly announced that the airport will break the rules again this year. This means another summer of 24/7 noise for people who live under the flight path

In response, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has written to all Leeds councillors. GALBA has asked them to urge the Planning department to take action to prevent the rules being broken again and to prosecute the airport for breaking the rules in 2022 and 2023. The rules were established by the Council to protect public health.

Nick Hodgkinson, chair of GALBA, said: “Mr Hodder’s statement is shocking. LBA’s behaviour is as bad as Yorkshire Water and it’s high time the Planning department took some action. Yorkshire Water pollutes our rivers and LBA pollutes our air.”

“It’s ridiculous that the Council has chosen to do nothing about the airport’s repeated rule breaking.”

“When LBA broke the rules in 2022, Mr Hodder apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again. Now he’s brazenly announced that he will break the rules again this year. This means another summer of 24/7 noise for people who live under the flight path.”

Planning has sent a clear message to big companies that they can do what they like. LBA has heard that message and has chosen to carry on ignoring the rules

“Clearly the threat of prosecution has had no effect on Mr Hodder and the Planning department must take stronger action for the sake of local people and our environment.”

In late March, the Council’s planning department confirmed that LBA had broken the night flight rules in 2023 as well as 2022. This means that LBA breached the Council’s ‘breach of condition notice’ (BCN), which gave the Planning department the power to prosecute LBA in court – breaching a BCN is a criminal offence. However, the Planning department has chosen to take no enforcement action at all.

Nick Hodgkinson asked: “Would the Planning department treat a local resident or small business so leniently if they broke planning rules? It feels like there’s one rule for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us.”

“Planning has sent a clear message to big companies that they can do what they like. LBA has heard that message and has chosen to carry on ignoring the rules.”

He added: “The night flight rules exist for a good reason: to protect local people and the environment. Every extra night flight means more harm to people’s health and more pollution, damaging our climate and the air we breathe. GALBA will keep on fighting LBA’s irresponsible and selfish attempts to expand.”

Notes

Letter to Leeds councillors: this is available on the GALBA website.

CLEUD applications: in December 2023, LBA resubmitted four applications for Certificates of Lawful Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) to Leeds City Council. They asked the Council to reinterpret the meaning of the rules that limit night time flying so as to allow a major rise in the number of night flights. Two of the applications have been rejected and Leeds City Council says it will decide on the other two by the end of October this year.

Health impacts of aviation: the Civil Aviation Authority provides information about the impact of noise on health and GALBA’s website explains the health damage caused by ultrafine particles from jet engines.

Night flight rules: planning conditions impose a cap on the number of night time flights allowed at LBA. Leeds City Council has responsibility for monitoring and enforcing those conditions. They define the Summer Season as British Summer Time, which was 26 March to 29 October in 2023. The night time period is defined as 23:00 to 07:00 and an aircraft movement is defined as a landing or a departure.

Night flight breaches: LBA broke those rules in the 2022 summer season and the Council issued a breach of condition notice against LBA in June 2023. GALBA monitored night flights from LBA in the 2023 summer season and found that LBA had already broken the rules again by 18 September 2023. Breaching a ‘breach of condition’ notice is a criminal offence that allows Leeds City Council to prosecute LBA in the Magistrates court. However, the Planning department announced that it would take no action over the 2023 breach because it was ‘not in the public interest’.

Help give us a voice

Take action

Please support us

Donate

Make a difference

Join us

Leeds Bradford Airport is big enough already