Heathrow has not yet accepted a ban on night flights – one of the four main mitigation measures set out by the Airports Commission to make a third runway acceptable.
The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye said Heathrow was confident it could “significantly reduce” night flights but stopped short of committing to a full ban.
He was speaking to MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee as part of its inquiry into the commission’s recommendation to build a third runway at Heathrow.
Airlines are also expected to argue against a night flight ban as this would make certain long-haul routes more problematic, the Financial Times reported.
“We need to discuss with airlines and the government. I think there is a way through that and we will make our statement on that in due course,” said Holland-Kaye.
While Holland-Kaye would not commit to a ban on night flights, he said he was confident an expanded airport would be able to meet EU air quality limits.
He said Heathrow would only release capacity from the new runway if it would not delay compliance with the targets.
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