Gatwick residents call for research into health impact of night flights

Residents living around Gatwick have raised health concerns due to the impact of night flights.

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (GAGNE) has written to the chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies.

It wants research to be carried out into the true cost to health of night flights on communities surrounding the airport.

Gatwick has permission to fly 14,250 flights at night a year with no restrictions on the number of arrivals and departures permitted to fly over Sussex, Surrey and Kent during the hours of 11.30pm and 6am, according to the residents’ body.

CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey said in the letter: “Residents feel helpless, unable to stop night noise or the late evening noise up to 11.30pm when both noise and the light pollution.

“Another major issue is the deluge of early morning departures that start before 6.30am.”

CAGNE said: “There has been international research into the health impacts of night flights and the conclusions have shown that aircraft night movements have serious ramifications on the wellbeing of communities.

“And yet Gatwick is allowed to fly the most night flights of any airport in the UK today with no cost evaluation to the NHS budgets or wellbeing of people who suffer sleep deprivation due to aircraft movements at night.

“It is about time that the health and wellbeing of communities came before profits of the airlines and airports.

“With Heathrow continuing to offer night respite to communities and a ban of 6.5 hours with a third runway, which Gatwick never offered with a second runway, we feel it is about time the true cost to the NHS is understood from ill health of residents that are deprived sleep due to the noise of aircraft.”

Travel Weekly has asked Gatwick Airport for a response.

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