Leeds-Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport boss accepts night time flying rules ‘may have been broken’ last summer

19 May 2023

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) says the airport’s boss has accepted that LBA broke the rules on night time flying in the 2022 summer season. GALBA now wants Leeds City Council to make an immediate decision on their complaint about the rule breaking, which was submitted to the Council’s enforcement team seven months ago.

Vincent Hodder, LBA’s Chief Executive Officer, told the latest meeting of the airport’s consultative committee: “It looks like there may have been a breach in the summer, night time movement cap but this is still to be confirmed.” He also admitted that flights in April should be included in the summer season figures but that LBA has failed to report those flights for many years.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said:

Our monitoring found there were more than 600 flights from LBA above the limit for night time flying last summer. Mr Hodder has all but admitted this, so our complaint to Leeds City Council is justified. He also said he was meeting with the Council about this at the end of March. So we cannot understand why it’s taking the Council’s enforcement team so long to make a simple decision. Our complaint was made in October last year, it’s now May, the 2023 summer season is well under way and they’ve done nothing. What on earth is going on?

There’s a very straightforward rule that limits the number of flights at night. That rule exists to protect the health and wellbeing of residents under the flight path. Medical research has repeatedly shown that excessive noise, especially at night, is linked to serious mental and physical health problems. The rule was designed by the Council and agreed to by LBA but it seems LBA has ignored the rule and the Council didn’t do proper monitoring. The Council still hasn’t done anything to enforce the rule. So it’s left to us, GALBA, to be the grown ups and take responsibility on behalf of local people.

We’re concerned that LBA and the Council may be cooking up a deal to let the airport off the hook. We’re watching very closely and we will take legal action if the Council doesn’t take enforcement action.

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