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Ban on night flights over London extended

Airport locals have won a three year extension to the ban on night flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted today.

The ban was due to expire next year but it has now been rolled over until 2017 after a consultation.

Nigh flights will continue to be banned in the capital until at least 2017 Credit: Reuters

The announcement means the Davies review into aviation - which is already looking into ways to increase capacity at London's airports - will have to consider a long-term plan for the future of night flights.

The government is even considering extending the ban so it applies to the noisiest aircraft.

Boris: new plans show expanding Heathrow would be 'folly'

London Mayor Boris Johnson has given his blessing to the new six-runway option for a Thames Estuary airport, saying:

“This is further welcome argument in favour of the feasibility of having a new hub airport in the Thames estuary.

With so many options available for a multi-runway hub airport in a new location, it would be folly for the Airports Commission to give countenance to the prospect of expanding Heathrow, the most noise-polluting airport in Europe.”

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

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Rival airport plan unveiled for 'Boris Island'

A new plan for an airport on the Thames Estuary has been unveiled - with six runways instead of the four originally proposed.

Plans for a Thames Estuary solution to London's airport capacity problems have been dubbed 'Boris Island' after the Mayor expressed his support for them.

The plans have been drawn up by Testrad - the consortium set up by the Mayor to look at Thames Estuary proposals. The new airport would be called 'London Britannia' and sit on a purpose build island off the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

How 'London Britannia' airport would look from above Credit: Testrad
A view of the proposed terminals and runways Credit: Testrad
How the airport would be set out on the inside Credit: Testrad
How the inside of the airport would look Credit: Testrad
Ideas for how the airport could be accessed from different areas of the capital Credit: Testrad

London's airports "underused"

Plane on runway
The London Assembly claims south-east airports are under capacity. Credit: ITN

A new report by the London Assembly claims airport capacity in the south-east is currently underused with some airports having more than half of their runway slots free.

Even Heathrow - which operates at 99 per cent capacity - could fly an additional 20 million passengers every year if larger aircraft were used.

Airport capacity challenges discussed

Heathrow airport Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bigwigs from Schipol Airport in Amsterdam and Chicago's O'Hare will be taking part in a discussion of the competitive challenges faced by large cities in growing their vital air links to global markets.

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously voiced his anger that any further delay in establishing a proper aviation strategy for the south east will give the advantage to continental hubs.

Schipol airport in Amsterdam Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Schipol is expected to outstrip Heathrow in terms of passengers and flights within a decade. Last year they launched an aggressive advertising campaign, marketing itself as Heathrow's third runway.

In expanding to six runways Chicago's O'Hare has faced many of the challenges, both political and financial, that are now being faced in the south east.

Representatives from Schipol and O'Hare will be joined by Daniel Moylan, London Mayoral Adviser on Aviation Policy and the CEOs of both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Airport investigation takes off

The Commission set up by the government to look into airport capacity in the UK starts its work today.

The independent commission will be headed by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies.

It will make its full report in 2015, which it's hoped will help settle the contentious question of the best way to maintain Britain's airport industry.

While some favour expansion at existing airports like Heathrow, others, including Mayor Boris Johnson, would prefer a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

There has been criticism of the length of time the review will take - especially as it will only report after the next election.

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