Aircraft noise is a serious problem and the World Health Organisation recommends far lower thresholds to prevent adverse health impacts from aviation. Aircraft noise disturbs sleep, causing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and is linked to some cancers. That's why night flying is highly regulated.
Leeds Bradford Airport is using various tactics to subvert the night flying rules.
GALBA has proved that the airport has been flying more planes at night than it is allowed to.
You can find out more about the night time breaches here.
The airport has unilaterally reinterpreted the rules to claim it can fly some types of planes without counting them towards the night time flight allowance. There has been no agreement from the regulator, Leeds City Council, and the airport’s claims are bogus.
Leeds Bradford Airport is also currently trying to get round the night flight regulations by using a part of the planning system called Certificates of Lawful Existing Use or Development (CLEUDs). This is a very live issue and GALBA is fighting it.
You can find out more about the CLEUD controversy here.
LBA can fly planes 24/7 but there are restrictions on the number of flights allowed to land and take-off between 23:00 and 07:00.
It was only because GALBA monitored the number of flights that anyone knew about the airport’s rule breaking. In 2023, the Council issued a ‘planning enforcement notice’ against LBA and if they break the rules again, LBA could face criminal prosecution. GALBA continued to monitor the number of night flights in summer 2023 and LBA broke the rules again. We’ve made another complaint and we’re waiting to hear what the Council decides to do.
That application said that 123,000 people, including thousands in central and south Leeds and areas north west of Leeds, would have been exposed to increased night-time noise at levels that have a noticeable effect, including ‘highly disturbed sleep’. LBA’s application admitted that expansion would have resulted in “…an adverse effect on health due to increased noise.”
Leeds Public Health department has pointed out: “Research has shown that people wake far more easily in the morning hours, so an intermittent high level noise event between 06:00 and 07:00 is more likely to result in an awakening and prevents someone going back to sleep. This may ultimately result in long-term sleep deprivation, cardiovascular disease and reduction in quality of life.”
Leeds Bradford Airport is big enough already