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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

New rules risk making London’s airports noisier, warns Green MEP

17/04/2014 EURO-MP Jean Lambert has warned that Londoners living near Heathrow and City Airports – and under flight paths to and from Gatwick, Luton and Stansted Airports – could suffer increased noise level, especially at night.

The European Parliament has voted on revisions to EU rules dealing with airport noise which let economic interests override rules on noise. Green MEPs hit out at the agreement, which will enable the European Commission to overrule flight restrictions – such as night bans – at airports.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, said: “This review is a blow for all those European citizens living near airports. It will leave many more people being subjected to the noise, pollution and all other miseries caused by planes.

“Instead of working to ensure stronger EU rules, to reduce the nuisance, pollution, health problems and safety risks posed by airports, the European Commission gave in to heavy lobbying from the aviation industry and the US administration.

“Now MEPs and EU governments have cleared these wrong-headed plans for take-off.”

Commenting on the UK context, where the Airports Commission is considering increased aviation capacity, Ms Lambert added:

“This vote today in Brussels takes on an added significance in the context of the UK Government’s desire to cater for ever-increasing numbers of flights. A new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow would leave more people affected by noise and air pollution and more climate-damaging pollution.

“This is exactly what European laws should be aiming to prevent, and today’s vote is a source of regret to this end. We can’t just keep catering for rising growth in flying. Instead, we need to reduce demand and explore how aviation could function within environmental limits.”