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With the number of flights leaving Heathrow Airport during the pandemic greatly reduced, Richmond Council is supporting a campaign to encourage the airport to introduce a complete moratorium on night flights.

Whilst there is still a ban on non-essential overseas travel, and quarantine measures are acting as a further deterrent to travel, Heathrow has seen around a 97% drop in passenger numbers. Therefore, there has been a significant drop in the number of aircraft arriving and departing the airport.

Despite this, there are still planes scheduled to arrive and leave between 4.30am and 5am.

Richmond Council is therefore supporting a campaign by Friends of the Earth Richmond to urge the Government to stop flights between 11pm and 7am during the Pandemic. Arguing that during this time of crisis it is vital that everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“It is unacceptable that thousands of people are unable to get a good night’s sleep.

“I do understand that Heathrow could be important to the rebuilding of our economy, but what we must do is manage the trade-off between economic benefit and people’s health and quality of life, particularly during the Pandemic.

“Every night thousands of people lose sleep because of the noise and disruption caused by early flights. This can bring a raft of health issues, including hypertension, stress or ischemic heart disease.

“There are plenty of available slots available every day, I urge Heathrow to rethink their flight schedule and whilst our country is recovering financially, help the health of our country recover with a good night’s sleep.”

– from a Richmond Council press release - 10 June 2020