Ministers consider plans for Heathrow night flights

Heathrow is already one of the busiest airports in the world and many people make use of airport parking at the hub. Meanwhile, if plans being considered by the government go ahead, the transport centre may see even greater numbers of flights landing and taking off there.

According to a report in the Financial Times, ministers are to examine a proposal made by Emirates Airline to fly A380 superjumbos in and out of the airport late at night. The Gulf carrier wants permission to operate services up to 1am and then again from 4am.

The firm says it can reduce noise levels by flying the planes into the hub on steeper descents and by landing the aircraft part way down the runways.

Many of those who use parking at Heathrow may be eagerly awaiting the government’s decision. If the proposals are accepted, Emirates could increase the number of daily flights it runs to its Dubai hub from five to seven, providing air travellers with greater convenience.

Those who take the early and late flights, if they come into operation, may want to make use of airport hotels.

Commenting on the issue, Emirates Airlines president Tim Clark told the Financial Times that the new models of wide-body jets being used by the carrier, which are quieter, should be able to run with a reduced curfew. This may enable the company to increase the number of flights it offers beyond its current annual limit of 480,000.

He remarked: “If you can demonstrate that the noise profile of aircraft is that much quieter, why not look at that as a means of growing capacity at constrained hub airports?”

Meanwhile, the Department for Transport stated: “We will launch a first stage consultation later this year which will seek detailed evidence, and we will welcome any contributions to this debate.”

Those keen to use the night time flights, along with Heathrow parking, will have to wait until the government makes a decision.

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