London Assembly demands end to Heathrow night flights

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London's elected assembly has called for an end to night flights at Heathrow airport.

The UK government is consulting on options for new rules to be implemented in October 2014. In response, the London Assembly - a watchdog on the performance of the city's mayor - has argued that the night flights "should be stopped or reduced to an absolute minimum to reduce sleep disturbance for people living in the capital".

The assembly's health and environment committee adds that "at the very least, planes arriving overnight should approach from the west of London, when weather allows", citing Department for Transport figures which show that "Heathrow's runways were used in a westerly direction approximately 72% of the time" in the period 2002-2011.

The committee estimates that if aircraft landed from the west when weather allows, "only around 40 per cent would fly over the capital" - reducing noise disturbance for around 110,000 people in areas such as Isleworth, Richmond and Hounslow, but increasing it for 15,600 living in parts of Windsor, Datchet and Stanwell Moor.