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LONDON: May 11, 2016. Heathrow Airport says it will support a UK government night flying ban between 2300 and 0530 if it agrees to the construction of a third runway that is expected to displace 750 homes.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye has told British prime minister David Cameron that expanding Heathrow as a “cornerstone” of Britain’s economic security for the last 70 years is the right choice for the country and local communities.“Expanding Heathrow can help Britain win thousands more jobs and ensure that future generations have the same economic opportunity that we have enjoyed," he said.

DHL GM sort center Croydon UKDuring the government investigation into future airport capacity in the south-east of England, the British Air Transport Association (BATA), representing 11 UK-registered airlines that carry over 130 million passengers and more than 1.1 million tonnes of cargo in and out of Britain annually, told the UK Department of Transport: “Night flights are crucial to both the UK economy and to the viable operation of entire transport networks."

The group, that includes DHL, added: "The express freight network especially relies on the availability of night flights, in order to guarantee next day delivery for thousands of business critical goods dispatched from and to UK businesses.”

BATA said it expected night flights would become acceptable to more local [airport] residents as a result of technology improvements to reduce aircraft noise levels.

Responding to the Heathrow concession, Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate declared: “This is a desperate last throw from a project that has repeatedly failed. Heathrow’s air quality plans, for example, fail the most basic credibility test. You can't promise no more cars with a third runway and at the same time propose to expand the M25 [motorway] and plan to spend millions on parking.

“Heathrow has constantly failed the environmental tests and the public and politicians won't be fooled by yet more warm words which have been heard for decades,” he added. 

In March, Heathrow reported cargo throughput of over 131,600 tonnes, up 3.8 percent compared to the same month in 2015, while the annualized total was 1,498,000 tonnes, a drop of 1.1 percent.

Gatwick by comparison saw its April traffic drop 16.5 percent year-on-year to 5,615 tonnes and its 12-month total fall 21.3 percent to 68,900 tonnes.

Stansted reported a 12.6 percent rise in April 2016 cargo traffic compared to the previous year while its throughput for the past 12 months rose 5.7 percent to over 245,000 tonnes.

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