Many thanks for your e-mail about night flights at Kent International Airport and sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I receive a large volume of correspondence on a daily basis and it sometimes takes longer than I would like to respond. Please be assured that this is an issue I am extremely concerned about for many of the reasons you raise in your e-mail and I shall be raising my concerns in the public consultation once it finally starts. I have also signed the ‘No Night Flights’ petition.
I am particularly concerned about the increased noise levels that night flights could have and the considerable disruption this could cause to local people. Noise pollution is a serious problem across the EU as almost half the EU’s population is exposed to noise levels likely to damage their health, according to WHO standards. The European Commission does have recommended EU noise limits but unfortunately at the moment these are only indicative and not binding EU legislation.
The European Commission has requested data from Member States to work on moving towards setting binding noise levels. This is something that I will be closely monitoring as I am very concerned that constituents such as yourself do not have adequate protection. Please be assured that I will do all I can to feed into this process so that constituents are better protected. In the meantime I will also continue to call for all national and local authorities to respect the EU recommendations on noise levels. I am also looking into other ways that I can further follow this up in relation to the proposed night flights at Kent International airport.
In addition to the noise issue there are clearly many other problems in the proposed night flights, as you mention in your e-mail. I am concerned about the health and safety implications and the fact that the night flights would not benefit local people. I am also concerned about the environmental damage that these night flights will have and they certainly don’t seem to be in line with the Governments commitments to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
For all these reasons please be assured that I am committed to doing all I can to oppose the proposed night flights at Kent International Airport. Please do let me know if there is anything further I can do on this issue and many thanks for raising your concerns with me.
To see more on my work as an MEP please do take a look at my website at: www.keithtaylormep.org.uk
Green MEP for SE England