Leeds Bradford Airport breached rules on night-time flights

Leeds Bradford Airport exceeded the cap by 747 flights. Credit: PA

Bosses at Leeds Bradford Airport have been warned they could face legal action after breaching the number of flights allowed at night.

Leeds City Council served a breach of planning condition notice after finding that there were there were 3,667 night-time flights last summer – about 25% more than permitted under planning rules.

Failure to comply with the limits is a criminal offence. If the airport continues to breach the rules it could be served with an enforcement notice to ensure compliance.

Cllr Helen Hayden, the council's executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: "If the breach of condition notice is not complied with this can escalate into summary prosecution that can be brought in the magistrates court."

The airport is bound to limit flights between 11pm and 7am to minimise noise pollution.

An investigation was launched after the council received a complaint in October last year.

Leeds Bradford Airport said the technology it used to record flight traffic data was not working correctly.

'This was an accident'

In a statement, it said: "The organisation that facilitates flights to UK airports was not aware of LBA’s full operating restrictions, resulting in additional night flights being allocated to the airport.

"LBA accepts that we accidentally exceeded the permitted number of aircraft movements during the night period in summer 2022.

"We understand the impact this had had on our neighbours. This was an accident that we have worked hard to put right."

Local campaigners welcomed the council's intervention. Chris Foren, chair of Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport, said: "Last year, we told the council that we believed there had been over 600 more flights than allowed at night from LBA during the 2022 summer season.

"Sadly, the council has no power to impose a fine but the breach of condition notice is important.

"It should mean the airport doesn't break the night flight rules again this summer - that’s good news for local people and for the environment."

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