By Daniel Hunter

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the Government to maintain the current night flights regime for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Responding to the Department for Transport consultation which closes today (Monday), the CBI says that night flights play a key role in the aviation industry and generate millions of pounds in investment and exports.

“Night flights allow the UK to compete in a 24 hour, seven day a week, global economy. When growth is so fragile, we can’t risk cutting back on a key part of the aviation industry responsible for generating over a billion pounds in investment and exports," Rhian Kelly, CBI Director for Business Environment, said.

“These are flights that can’t be made during the day. Night flights oil the cogs of the express delivery industry so freight arriving overnight can be shipped first thing in the morning. And they allow passengers to travel easily between the UK and the emerging market economies that we rely upon for future exports growth.

“Everyone understands the impact of noise and disruption on local communities near the flight path. The aviation industry has made major strides, with quieter planes coming into operation month-by-month.

“With the current system working well, it makes no sense to make major changes when the independent Airports Commission is looking at the long-term future of industry — it cannot be expected to hit a moving target as it decides how best to boost capacity in the South East.”

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