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Residents living around major airports like Heathrow could get an extra hour of reprieve from airplane noise if the UK switched its clocks. HACAN ClearSkies, the largest voluntary organisation in Europe dedicated to campaign on behalf of those who suffer because of aircraft flight paths, is today calling on MPs whose constituencies are affected by aircraft noise to back the Daylight Saving Bill which is due to be debated in parliament later this month. The Daylight Saving Bill is calling on the government to conduct a review into the arguments for and against a change to the UK's current time setting.

"Night Noise is probably the biggest concern for most of the residents we represent. Flights start arriving into heathrow at 4.30am - a pretty early wake up call! If our clocks were put forward an hour, under current schedules, this would shift to 5.30am" said HACAN's chair John Stewart.

HACAN is the latest organisation to join 10:10’s Lighter Later campaign – a coalition of groups including road safety campaigners, tourism organisations, businesses, environmentalists, public health experts and community charities. Lighter Later’s proposition is simple: shift the clocks forward by one hour throughout the year, therefore moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening when people can actually use it.

At Heathrow, night flight regulations dictate that there are no outgoing flights between the hours of 4.30am and 6am and incoming flights are limited to 16.

Monica Robb, who lives under the flight path in Brentford, says “At present I don’t need an alarm clock. The 4.30 flight does the job. If the planes started an hour later, it would still be an early call but a welcome improvement.”

"Clock change could bring an extra hours respite from the noise of overhead planes to the half-million people affected by night flights at Heathrow. Add that to the benefits of safer roads, lighter evenings and decreased electricity bills for the entire country, then the change seems like even more of a no-brainer" said Daniel Vockins, Lighter Later campaign manager.

Mary Macleod MP says, “Residents in West London are woken on a daily basis by flights coming into Heathrow from 4.30am in the morning. Medical evidence suggests that disturbed sleep is very damaging to people’s health, even if the noise isn’t sufficient to wake you up which is why I have been campaigning for some time for a ban on night flights until 6am. The Daylight Saving Bill would mean that the first flights into Heathrow would move to 5.30am which would be a welcome step in the right direction towards a ban on night flights.”

The Daylight Saving Bill is due for its third reading in parliament on 20 January.


January 10, 2012