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12 April 2013, 11:53 | Updated: 12 April 2013, 11:55
A report by the London Assembly has found Heathrow night flights should be stopped or reduced to an absolute minimum to reduce sleep disturbance for people living in the capital.
In its response to a Government consultation on night flights, the Assembly's Health and Environment Committee says if these flights cannot be stopped, then at the very least, planes arriving overnight should approach from the west of London, when weather allows, to reduce the number flying over the capital at night.
Currently, more than 70 per cent come from the east due to a more favourable wind direction. The Committee says if planes landed from the opposite direction when weather conditions allow, only around 40 per cent would fly over the capital, making the split more equitable.
The changes would reduce noise disturbance for around 110,000 people in areas like Isleworth, Richmond and Hounslow, but increase it for 15,600 living to the west of the capital in parts of Windsor, Datchet and Stanwell Moor.
The Committee also suggests the Government should aim to significantly reduce the overall noise 'footprint' from Heathrow night flights including the area where noise levels exceed 40 decibels, in light of health concerns expressed by the World Health Organisation.