08/06/2004 - AICES advocates balanced approach to nightflights

Wed, 20th June, 2018

AICES today called for a balanced debate about the UK’s nightflights regime following a rally by protestors at Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

Anne de Courcy, AICES Secretary General, commented:

“Of course we recognise the concerns of the community regarding nightflights. However, the express industry has worked tirelessly with the airport and community groups to reduce the impact of night operations as much as possible. We take the issue of noise extremely seriously and will continue to seek ways to address concerns in a constructive and balanced manner.

“We must also recognise that express services are used primarily by UK business to achieve the next day delivery of goods and documents to customers throughout the world. The only way to achieve such a delivery schedule is by the operation of aircraft outside of normal business hours, including those defined as night, between 11pm and 6am.

“If nightflights were banned the UK would not be able to compete effectively, business would suffer and jobs would be lost – including many in and around the East Midlands.

“AICES believes the best way forward is to adopt a balanced approach to regulation. At the same time, we will continue to work with local communities and airport operators to ensure we keep controlling and reducing the scale of any adverse impacts from our operations.”


For further information please contact, Chris Wainwright on 0207 526 3604 / 07802 457006

Notes to editor:

1. The Governments recent aviation white paper noted:

“The speed of delivery that air freight can offer is an increasingly important factor for many modern businesses, especially where just-in-time practices and high value commodities are concerned…specialist express carriers could account for over 50 per cent of the air freight market by 2030. The ability to meet the world-wide rapid delivery and logistics requirements of modern businesses is an important factor in assuring the future competitiveness of both the UK and regional economies.”

Government Aviation White Paper, 2003

2. AICES believes a balanced approach must therefore be struck between providing businesses with vital modern transportation and logistics and the needs of the communities living nearby airports.

3. Failure to find a balance could result in severe consequences. If restrictions or even bans on night flights are imposed, carriers may be forced to move to more favourable locations within the European Union. With them will go considerable national and local economic benefits.

4. In a survey conducted by the CBI and Oxford Economic Forecasting in 2002, the following views of business were ascertained:


  • 64% of firms consider next-day express delivery services to be very important
  • 87% of companies require their suppliers to deliver certain shipments to them by express
  • Around 40% frequently require either sub-components or spare parts next-day
  • 32% of SMEs expect that they would lose orders if next-day international delivery services were no longer available.
  • 56% of all companies surveyed said they would be “very badly affected” by the cessation of next day deliveries.
  • 16% of firms would probably or possibly have to relocate from the UK to overseas if next day delivery services ceased