Beds, Herts & Bucks

London Luton Airport expansion: 'Increased' night flights protest

Protesters outside Luton Town Hall
Image caption Protesters claim they will "effectively only get five hours sleep" if night flights increase

Protesters in Bedfordshire have demonstrated against proposals for increased night flights from London Luton Airport.

Campaigners said the airport's plans to double movements between 22:00 and 00:00 and start commercial flights at 05:00 would deprive people of sleep.

They are calling on the council to implement planning controls.

The airport said movements on a "typical busy summer's day" would rise from 25 to 45 between 22:00 and 00:00.

It was also confirmed that the number of movements between 05:00 and 06:00 was expected to grow from seven to nine, with "no increase in commercial aviation".

Last January, the airport, the UK's fifth biggest, announced plans to handle 18 million passengers a year, up from 11.5 million.

Its growth bid comes after claims of an air travel capacity shortage in south east England, by 2020.

Andrew Lambourne, from the campaign group No More Night Flights, which demonstrated outside Luton town hall, said without controls in place "we will effectively only get five hours sleep".

He said: "We are not completely anti-airport, we use the airport, what we want are planning controls put in place by Luton Borough Council as part of the process of determining this planning application."

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